News / Middle East

US Calls Syria Election a 'Disgrace'

VOA News
U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf described Syria's presidential election Tuesday as "a disgrace," saying President Bashar al-Assad "has no more credibility today that he did yesterday."

"Detached from reality and devoid of political participation, the Assad regime-staged election today continues a 40-year family legacy of violent suppression that brutally crushes political dissent and fails to fulfill Syrians' aspirations for peace and prosperity," said Harf.
 
Syrians voted in an election that is expected to give Assad a landslide victory for a new seven-year term, as a deadly civil war continues across the country.

Syrian state television showed Assad supporters waving flags and portraits of the president as they waited in long lines to cast their ballots. Voting is only taking place in government-controlled parts of the country.  

The Syrian opposition and its Western allies have denounced the election, which pits Assad against two little-known, government-approved candidates.
 
Syria's Presidential Election
 
  • First multicandidate presidential election in decades
  • Bashar al-Assad is running for a third term
  • Two other candidates: Maher Hajjar and Hassan al-Nouri
  • 15 million people are eligible to vote
  • Voting is only taking place in areas under government control
  • More than 9,000 polling stations are set up
  • Some stations have pins so voters can prick their fingers to mark ballots in blood
  • Opposition has rejected the election

Syria's prime minister, Wael al-Halqi, said Tuesday's election will put the country on a path to recovery. The Syrian interior ministry said more than 15 million people were eligible to vote.

Opposition Syrian National Council spokesman Khalid Saleh said the results will have no real impact on the future of the Syria.

"Well, Assad still controls the army, still controls intelligence services, still controls to some extent the foreign militias," said Saleh. "So, even if one of those two other candidates wins, they have no way to run anything in the country. Assad has been very clear. He will control this country. He will kill anybody who's in opposition to him. And he will do whatever it takes to remain in power."

Rebel fighters have battled for more than three years to oust Assad from office.  

Violence continued to rage Tuesday on the outskirts of Damascus with rebels firing mortars and government warplanes targeting opposition areas.

Assad has been in power since 2000, when he became president following the death of his father, and was the only candidate on the ballot when he won his second term in 2007.

His forces carried out a crackdown against peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011, which came along with the wave of so-called Arab Spring demonstrations that were sweeping across the region.

The fighting escalated into a war that activists say has killed more than 160,000 people. The United Nations says 2.8 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries to escape the conflict, while 6.5 million others are displaced within Syria.

International efforts to resolve the conflict, including a face-to-face peace conference earlier this year, have yielded little result.
 
  • A Syrian soldier sits under the portrait of President Bashar al-Assad at a polling station in Damascus, June 3, 2014.
  • Women cast their votes in presidential elections at a polling station in Aleppo, Syira, June 3, 2014.
  • Syria's presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri accompanied by his wife Hazar casts his vote at polling centrer in Damascus, June 3, 2014.
  • A picture from the official Facebook page of Syria's first lady Asma al-Assad shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad watching on as Asma casts her vote at a polling station in Maliki, Damascus, May 3, 2014.
  • A man holds a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad and a national flag at a polling station in Damascus, June 3, 2014.
  • A man votes for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on a ballot stamped with his blood, during the presidential election in Damascus, June 3, 2014.
  • A traffic police officer rests in front of a building with posters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, June 3, 2014.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
June 04, 2014 3:17 AM
The election in Syria is a complete mockery to democracy, Assad is a disgrace to himself and to society. He is a big embarrassment to the Syrian people. It is time that Assad go.Syria is not his farm. Listen America is the world superpower, she needs to sent a very strong and clear message to Assad. And that massage must come to consequences. It must come with action. Who is Russia to stop America? Nothing, but a piece of bread. Russia is bluffing, because she knows President Obama is a man of peace and diplomacy. But at the same token, The U.S needs to sent Russia a message too. Cuz Russia will not stop her nonsense.The reason why Assad is in power is because of Russia. The world know this is not a free and fair election, the Syrian people are under the barrier of the gun, so for this reason, they will side with Assad. Cuz the people don't want to died any more. The U.S, the U.K and the E.U need to do something about this Syria problem. Enough is enough. How long they will sit and see the people dying?
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
June 04, 2014 6:56 AM
There is no democracy in middle east. Islam can not get along with democracy. those who claim democracy in middle east are hiding their real agenda . their agenda is destruction and exterminated of Christian. American advice for middle east is always wrong. American politician are always deceived by radical muslim lobby .

by: kathyzjim from: USA
June 03, 2014 7:39 PM
I am sure the Syrian government cares what the US thinks of Syria's election.

by: ali baba from: new york
June 03, 2014 6:49 PM
IF Bashar EL Assad has no credibly, Which one has credibility? The rebel which connected to terrorist organization and invited jihadist from over the world to destroy the country and force people to flee and they are targeting Christian for mass murder. It seems to me that American politician never make sense and ever

by: meanbill from: USA
June 03, 2014 6:12 PM
EVERY DAY the US losses more credibility, giving worthless opinions, name calling, threats of sanctions, embargos, red lines, finger pointing and other silly girly things? -- The world is watching, this new US strategy to combat enemies of America?

by: Sofa Guy from: Virginia
June 03, 2014 5:30 PM
Ah the double standards! Assad's re-election is a "disgrace". At least nothing disgraceful is going on in Egypt......
In Response

by: Lefteris Pavlides from: Providence
June 04, 2014 8:33 AM
Ali Baba are you suggesting that the Syrian opposition is not barbaric?

They are so barbaric that they do not hesitate commiting atrocities against the small minority of non-barbaric opposition. This is the reason that many people that supported the initial uprising in Syria are now reluctantly supporting the non-democrartic Assad (much like some pro-democracy forces in Egypt)
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
June 03, 2014 9:59 PM
the election is fair in Egypt. people are happy that Muslim brotherhood is over

by: Lefteris Pavlides from: Providence
June 03, 2014 5:14 PM
But does the US call Egypt Election a 'Disgrace'?

If not why not?
In Response

by: Lefteris Pavlides from: Providence
June 04, 2014 8:27 AM
Ali Baba are you suggesting that people in Syria are NOT happy because the Muslim Fundamentalist (actually much worse violators of basic human rights compered with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood) is over?

I do not think so. Women's and religious freedoms are threatened by Muslim Fundamentalist fighting in Syria.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
June 03, 2014 11:21 PM
Election in Egypt is not disgrace .people enjoy removing Muslim brotherhood. Muslim brotherhood are barbaric people

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs