As expected, Syrian President Bashar Assad has won a third term, with nearly 89% of the vote, reports RT.com. Syrian election officials told the media that more than 73% of Syria’s population turned out to cast their ballots. That amounted to more than 11.6 million Syrians inside the country and millions more living abroad as well.
Assad’s time in office marred by war
President Bashar Assad’s terms in office have been plagued by a violent civil war as many protested his policies. Assad’s opponents said the election was nothing but a charade, as the two other candidates were relatively unknown and did not actually offer a real alternative to Assad. According to Reuters, many said an election held in the midst of a civil war could not be counted as credible. The U.S. has sided with the rebels against Assad.
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Approximately 3 million Syrians have left the country because of the bloody civil war, which has claimed about 160,000 lives.
Syrians fire guns in response to Assad’s win
Jihad Lahan, the Syrian parliament speaker, announced the final results. Assad’s two challengers hardly got any votes at all, with Hassarn al-Nouri securing 4.3% of the votes and Maher Hajjar getting 3.2% of the votes. This was the first time in decades that there was more than one candidate on the ballot. Voting was only held in the parts of Syria that a