Syrian Regime leader Bashar Al-Assad wins the Presidential elections the fourth consecutive time in the war-torn country, while opposition and western powers called it a sham.
Assad has swept power with 95.1% votes, despite staunch resistance from various factions in the country over the years that plunged the country into a civil war dismantling the civilian infrastructure and displacing tens of thousands, TRT World reported.
The controversial Presidential vote was the second since the beginning of the political and civil disturbance in the country, that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, forced millions to flee the country and battered country’s civil infrastructure.
The election results were announced by Head of Parliament Hammouda Sabbagh at a news conference on Thursday, describing voter turnout to be 78 percent with more than 14 million Syrians participating, reported Al-Jazeera.
It is also reported that United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy said the poll was “neither free nor fair”, and Syria’s fragmented opposition has called it a “farce”.
The election results were met with great celebrations across the streets in Syria and people warmly welcomed the results. Some danced and beat drums, while others waved Syrian flags and carried pictures of al-Assad, Al-Jazeera reported citing Syrian state media.
“Tens of thousands of people in Tartus province gathered at the city’s seafront to celebrate” al-Assad’s expected win, according to SANA, the Al-Jazeera report read.
“The message of this election reached the enemies and the national duty was fulfilled,” Press TV quoted Bashar Al-Assad, as saying, adding that the enemies, however, stubbornly “insist on ignoring the message sent by the Syrian people in the election.”
“What you have done was a phenomenon of unprecedented challenge to enemies of the homeland,” Assad added.
Al-Assad was first elected by referendum in 2000 after the death of his father Hafez al-Assad, who had ruled Syria for 30 years.
Last election in Syria was held in 2014, despite fighting raging across the country and the opposition refusing to participate.
Large parts of the country, however, are still held by rebels and Kurdish groups.