Syria’s Assad re-elected

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Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected for a fourth term as the president of war-ravaged Syria, official results has showed, despite Western accusations that the polls were neither free nor fair.

The controversial vote extending Assad’s stranglehold on power was the second since the start of a decade-long civil conflict that has killed more than 388,000 people, displaced millions and battered the country’s infrastructure.

The parliamentary speaker announced on Thursday that Assad garnered 95.1 per cent of the votes cast, trouncing two virtually unknown challengers.

Standing against him were former state minister Abdallah Salloum Abdallah and Mahmud Merhi, a member of the so-called tolerated opposition, long dismissed by exiled opposition leaders as an extension of the regime.—AFP