Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will maintain his position as president, according to the results of a landslide vote. Assad won the election with 88.7 percent of votes; however, opponents criticize the circumstances of the election.
Voting only took place in the western and central regions of Syria, where Assad’s supporters primarily reside. Critics also argue that a credible election cannot be held in the midst of a three-year civil war that has killed 160,000 people and displaced millions.
Parliamentary speaker Mohammad al-Laham made the announcement of Assad’s landslide win. “I declare the victory of Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic with an absolute majority of the votes cast in the election.”
Before Laham made the announcement, Assad’s supporters had already erupted in celebratory riots. Three people died and 10 were injured from celebratory gunfire in the capital city of Damascus.
Secretary of State John Kerry criticized the results of the questionable election. “With respect to the elections that took place, the so-called election, the election are non-election, the elections are a great big zero. They are meaningless, and they are meaningless because you can’t have an election where million of your people don’t even have the ability to vote, where they don’t have the ability to contest the election, and they have no choice,” he said.
Publication date: June 5, 2014