Bashar Assad is to serve another seven-year term, after his previous two, as the President of Syria after winning the June 3 presidential electios, while the uprising against his rule continues.
Syria’s parliament speaker Jihad Lahan announced that Assad garnered 88.7% of the votes. The other two candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, were significantly behind, receiving 4.3% and 3.2% respectively.
The British Foreign Office was skeptical of the elections and said the vote would “be a grotesque parody of democracy,” with the US State Department saying that the Assad government tried “to make it difficult if not impossible to have a fair and free election in Syria,” CNN reported.
Neither the European Union nor the United States have recognized the results of the election, calling it illegitimate and urging Assad to step down.
The Russian observer mission visited several polling stations across Syria. The mission included five Russian lawmakers, a member of Russia’s Central Elections Committee, and a group of law experts. Despite skepticism from the West, the Russian observers recognized the June 3 presidential election, noting that the voting process was in line with international standards.
For the first time in decades, there were multiple candidates up for the vote. In previous presidential elections, Assad and his father, Hafez Assad, before him were elected in single-candidate referendums in which voters used yes-no ballots.
Polling stations opened in Syria amid a three-year civil war that killed tens of thousands of people.
The unrest began in mid-March 2011, with protesters rebelling against Assad’s regime. The protests quickly spread across the country.
The EU has urged Syrian authorities to revise their policies, put an end to violence and launch comprehensive political reforms to establish long-term peace and stability in the country.
Moscow believes the international community can take steps toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict.