Syrian President Assad re-elected with 95% of votes

Syrian President Bashar Assad wins elections
Syrians wave national flags and carry a large portrait of their president as they celebrate in the streets of the capital Damascus, a day after an election set to give the current President Bashar Al-Assad a fourth term, on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)
DAMASCUS (AFP) -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected with 95.1 percent of the votes cast, the parliamentary speaker announced Thursday, following an election criticized by the opposition and Western nations. اضافة اعلان

The two other presidential candidates, former state minister Abdallah Salloum Abdallah and Mahmud Merhi, a member of the so-called "tolerated opposition", received 1.5 percent and 3.3 percent of the vote respectively, according to the official results of Wednesday's election.

In a country ravaged by war since 2011, 14.2 million people went to the polls, a turnout rate of 76.64 percent, according to the parliamentary speaker.
The election went ahead in the two-thirds of the country controlled by the government, and in some Syrian embassy overseas.

It was the second presidential election in the country since the start of the war which has cost over 388,000 lives.

In 2014, Assad obtained 88 percent of the vote, according to the official results.

Assad has dismissed Western accusations that Wednesday's vote was neither "free nor fair".

The United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy have condemned the electoral process as "illegitimate".