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Syria's Assad Running for Third Term

  • VOA News

FILE - Syrian President Bashar Assad

FILE - Syrian President Bashar Assad

Bashar al-Assad, the embattled president of Syria, is running for a third seven-year term. The speaker of parliament made the televised announcement Monday.

Candidates began registering last week for the presidential election, which will take place June 3.

Assad has been battling rebels in a conflict that began as peaceful protests in March, 2011 and quickly grew into a civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people.

Another 2.6 million people have fled Syria to surrounding countries, and the crisis has displaced more than 6.5 million people within Syria.

The president has been in power since 2000 when he took office following the death of his father, who had ruled Syria for 30 years.

Assad won his second term in 2007, taking 97 percent of the vote in an election boycotted by the opposition. He was the only candidate on the ballot.