Syria's ongoing major civil war, which has pitted the country's population against each other, has apparently not affected the popularity of President Bashar al-Assad, apparently. Assad has been reelected as President of Syria in an overwhelming electoral victory, with nearly 90% of Syrian voters choosing him for another term.
Elections took place for Assad's third term took place Tuesday. Results were announced Wednesday by Syrian election officials, who said that Assad had gotten 88.7% of the vote. According to the officials, 73.4% of Syrians participated in the elections. Out of the 15.85 million eligible voters in Syria, Assad got 11.63 million votes, they said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed the announcement, calling the elections – and Assad - “a big zero.”'
"It's a coronation of Assad, it's a celebration of his ability to survive the violent storm and basically go on the offensive," Fawaz Gerges, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, told CNN Tuesday.
The New York Times added that observers at the scene include representatives from Syria's allies, many of which are no more democratic than Syria itself - including Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
France’s Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, spoke about the elections in Syria and indicated that the whole ordeal is one big “tragic joke.” Fabius said that “Syrians, and only those who live in areas under the government’s control, have a choice to vote for either Bashar or Bashar.”
“The reality is exactly what we already knew before the elections began- Syria is a state at war. Above all, Bashar Assad was named by the United Nations Secretary General as one who commits crimes against humanity. A man like Assad cannot represent the future of his nation,” the Foreign Minister told the France 2 television channel.