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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid