Bashar al-Assad re-elected for fourth term as President – ZAP

14 / Wikimedia

Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria

As expected, Bashar Al-Assad was re-elected this Thursday for a fourth term with 95.1% of the vote.

The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, was re-elected on Thursday, as expected, for a fourth term, under scrutiny in the regions controlled by the Government, in a country in a situation of economic slump and devastated by a decade of war.

During an evening press conference, the speaker of parliament, Hammoud Sabbagha, announced that Al-Assad had been re-elected with 95.1% of the votes.

According to Sabbagha, 14.2 million people participated in the poll, out of a theoretical universe of 18.1 million, which gives a participation rate of 76,64%.

Also participating in the elections were former minister and deputy Abdallah Salloum Abdallah and a member of the opposition tolerated by the regime, Mahmoud Marei, who registered 1.5% and 3.3% of votes respectively.

Installed in office in 2020, succeeding his father, Hafez, who died after 30 years of power without sharing, Al-Assad criticized on Wednesday the westerners, with Washington and Brussels considering that the election had not been free.

In Damascus, thousands of Bashar al-Assad supporters demonstrated, waving Syrian flags and photographs of the re-elected, shouting ‘slogans’ in his honor and dancing.

This was the second presidential election since the beginning, in 2011, of a devastating war, which involves several belligerents and foreign powers. Born out of the repression of pro-democracy protesters, the conflict has already claimed more than 388,000 deaths.

In the country with ruined infrastructure, Bashar al-Assad presented himself as the reconstruction man, after adding military victories since 2015, thanks to the support of its allies, the Russian Federation and Iran, regaining control over two thirds of the territory.

The Kurdish autonomous regions of the Northeast ignored the scrutiny, as did the great opposition stronghold of Idlib, in the North West, which has about three million inhabitants.

Washington and several European powers had already condemned the scrutiny on the eve of its realization, considering that it was going to be “neither free nor fair”. The opposition spoke of “staging”. Al-Assad replied: “Your opinions are worthless ”.