Syrian President Bashar al- Assad has won a fourth term and will continue to rule the Arab country for another seven years after obtaining 95% of the votes in the controversial presidential elections – without rivals and with the opposition in exile – held Wednesday in the territories under their control.
“I am pleased and honored to announce the victory of Bashar Hafez al-Assad for the position of President of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Speaker of Parliament, Hamuda al Sabag, announced this Thursday from the hemicycle.
The Assad obtained, according to the official results, 13,540,869 votes, 95.1% of the total; his opponent Mahmud Marai, a leader of the internal opposition tolerated by Damascus, won 470,276 supporters; and in last place was the former Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Abdulá Salloum Abdulá, with 213,968 votes.
Almost 14.24 million voters participated in the elections of the total of just over 18 million people called to the polls inside and outside the country, Al Sabag detailed, in a long-awaited announcement that arrived hours later than the time established for it.
“This is the will of the people and nothing is above it, because it is taken from the will of God that people have freedom of choice and determine their future as the way to build nations,” concluded the president. of the camera.
These are the first elections to be held amid relative calm since the start of the armed conflict in 2011 and have been widely rejected by the opposition abroad and part of the international community.
The UN has also dissociated itself from the electoral appointment because it is not part of the peace plan for a political solution in Syria that it has sponsored since 2015, while some countries and sectors of the opposition in exile consider it a “farce” to revalidate The Assad.
Assad came to power after the death of his father, Hafez, in 2000 , when a referendum was held in which he was accepted as president. In 2007, he was again endorsed as president in a new popular consultation.
Following the riots that broke out in Syria against his government in 2011, the president reformed the political system to allow the formation of other parties and the election of the head of state by suffrage. El Asad was already expected to comfortably beat his opponents.
The European Union approved this Thursday to extend one more year the sanctions imposed against members and supporters of the Assad regime, as well as against companies and entities linked to the repression or that benefit from the government’s management.