Syrian presidential elections 2021- President Bashar reelected with 95% votes

 55 years old Bashar al Assad won fourth seven year term in the elections rejected by Western powers

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a fourth term as president with 95.1% of the votes. The polling was held on May 26 and result was announced on Thursday May 27. The turnout was 78% as 14 million Syrian voters out of 18 million exercised their right of vote. Assad got 88% in 2014 presidential elections. So Assad has increased the percentage of the votes he received in this elections. 

The Syrian government's official Twitter account posted: "The Syrians had their say. Bashar al-Assad wins the presidential elections of the Syrian Arab Republic after obtaining 95.1% of the votes inside and outside Syria."

The landslide victory grants Assad another seven-year term in office in the war-torn country. The elections were held in the areas controlled by Assad regime. Assad government control more than 70% of Syria. 

"Thank you to all Syrians for their high sense of nationalism and their notable participation. ... For the future of Syria's children and its youth, let's start from tomorrow our campaign of work to build hope and build Syria," Assad wrote on his campaign's Facebook page.

The win delivers Assad, 55, seven more years in power and lengthens his family's rule to nearly six decades. His father, Hafez al-Assad, led Syria for 30 years until his death in 2000.

Thousands of people thronged to the streets to celebrate the Assad’s victory in Damascus and other cities. They danced and sing songs.Huge crowds of Assad supporters filled Umayyad Square, the main square in the Syrian capital of Damascus, to celebrate Assad's win, waving Syrian flags and posters of Assad, while national music was blaring from loudspeakers. Banners supporting Assad adorned the square and main streets in the capital.

There were three candidates in the run. Former deputy Cabinet minister Abdallah Saloum Abdallah and Mahmoud Ahmed Marei, head of a small, officially sanctioned opposition party were Assad’s contenders.

According to the Speaker of Syrian parliament Hammoud Sabbagh, Marei got 3.3% of the vote, while Saloum received 1.5%, Sabbagh said. After the announcement, fireworks erupted in celebration and crowds continued cheering in various main squares in cities across Syria.

Assad’s government says the election on Wednesday shows Syria is functioning normally despite having a decade long conflict which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven 11 million people - about half the population - from their homes.

The foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States said in a statement criticising Assad ahead of the election that the vote would not be free or fair. Turkey, an Assad adversary, has also said the election was illegitimate.

The vote was boycotted by the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces who administer an autonomous oil-rich region in the northeast and in northwestern Idlib region, the last existing enclave where people denounced the election in large demonstrations on Wednesday.

This year's vote was the second presidential election in Syria since the start of a decade-long civil conflict that has killed more than 388,000 people, displaced 11 million and battered the country's infrastructure. 

                                                              Khalid Bhatti      

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