Bashar Al-Assad Returns As Syria’s President Amid Civil War

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has won a landslide victory in presidential poll securing 88.7 percent of the vote, parliament speaker Mohammad al-Laham has said.

The victory gives Assad a third term in office despite a raging civil war which grew out of protests against his rule.

The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court said on Wednesday that the turnout in the country’s presidential election this week was 73.42 percent.

Majed Khadra said that 11,634,412 out of a total of 15,845,575 eligible voters cast their ballots in Tuesday’s polls.

The election was held only in government-held areas, excluding vast chunks of northern and eastern Syria that are under rebel control.

The opposition and its allies have denounced the election as a farce.

For the first time in decades, there were multiple candidates on the ballot. In previous presidential elections, Assad and before him his father, Hafez, were elected in single candidate referendums in which voters cast yes-no ballots.