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Syria's Assad Wins Presidential Election in Landslide

  • Pamela Dockins

Sryian soldiers celebrate Bashar Assad's presidential re-election in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
Bashar al-Assad has won a landslide victory in the Syrian presidential election, securing a third seven-year term while fighting a bloody civil war against rebels seeking his ouster.

Syria's parliament speaker Mohammad Laham said more than 10 million people voted for Assad in Tuesday's election, giving him almost 89 percent of the vote. The polling was held only in government-controlled areas.

Late Wednesday, Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad said the election was "unprecedentedly successful.”

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, he also said the results "directed a blow" to countries "conspiring" against Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union sharply criticized the election. Kerry called the poll "a great big zero,'' saying it can't be considered fair "because you can't have an election where millions of your people don't even have an ability to vote.''

The government has sought to present this vote as a democratic solution to Syria's three-year conflict.

Also Wednesday, the United Nations aid chief Valerie Amos said the world body needs to take stronger action to gain greater aid access in Syria.

Amos said the violence and humanitarian situation in Syria has only worsened since the Security Council adopted a resolution more than three months ago that demanded safe and unhindered aid access, including across borders and battle lines.

More than 150,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war. Some 2.5 million people have fled abroad and 9 million people inside the country need help, including nearly 3.5 million who have no access to essential goods and services.

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