In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad won the fourth term in the presidential election on Wednesday.
The government claims that this election shows that despite the ten-year war, Syria is still functioning normally, but the opposition and Western countries regard this election as an opportunity to consolidate Assad’s rule. Compete with two unknown candidates.
At the Faculty of Philosophy in Damascus, hundreds of students lined up to vote, and several buses stopped outside.
Student Amar said: “We have come to support President Bashar al-Assad (…) without him, Syria would not have become Syria.”
“We will sacrifice our lives for you with our blood and soul, Bashar,” other students chanted before the opening of the poll.
Assad died after his father Hafez reigned for 30 years, and he first came to power in 2000.
Assad’s presidency marked a decade-long war that broke out after peaceful protests against his authoritarian rule in 2011. The war killed hundreds of thousands of people and left about 11 million people, about half of the country’s population.
His opposition candidates are former Deputy Minister Abdalah Saloum Abdalah (Abdalah Saloum Abdalah), and Mahmoud Ahmed Marei, the leader of a small opposition party with official permission.
The foreign ministers of France, Italy, Britain and the United States criticized Assad on Tuesday, saying in a joint statement that the elections in Syria will not be free and fair.