SYRIA’s Bashar Al-Assad has been rubber-stamped the victor from the country’s presidential elections.
The dictator’s victory was a foregone conclusion, with widespread ballot-rigging and little meaningful opposition option after years of civil war.
The 55-year-old won 95.1 per cent of the vote, on a 78.6 per cent turnout according to dubious official statements.
In a sickening moment, Bashar even posed for a photo to cast his ballot in Douma, a city to the north east of Damascus where he had previously launched a chemical weapons attack in 2018.
Bashar subsequently turned the tide on the opposition during the course of the ten-year conflict with the aid of Russian airpower to crush rebels and jihadists.
He has also received support from the military wing of Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah, themselves backed by Iran.
Syrian Negotiation Commission spokesman Yahya al-Aridi has dismissed the vote as a ‘continuation of tyranny.’
He said: “It’s a decision by the government, aided by Russia and Iran, to kill the political process. It’s a continuation of tyranny.”
Bashar inherited the presidency from his father Hafez Al-Assad in 2000.
Initially the quiet outsider of the family, he was groomed for power following the death of his elder brother Bassel in a car accident in 1994.
Despite initial liberalising moves and a western charm offensive, he has ultimately proved to be just as brutal and ruthless as his father.
Redaction has focused on the Middle East this week reporting on the fallout from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the overflow of anti-semitism in the West.
Jewish campaigners in Britain have been vocally supportive of the calls for Palestinian rights through the activism of Na’amod
Elsewhere we looked at Europe’s last dictatorship, Belarus, and the exodus of persecuted intellectuals from the country.
Meanwhile in the UK, Brexit continues to be a bone of contentions with economist Yanis Varoufakis revealing a change of heart towards Britain’s leavers.
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