18 July 2021

President Bashar al-Assad sworn in for 4th term in war-hit Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been sworn in for a fourth seven-year term in the war-torn country, after winning more than 95.1 percent of the votes cast in government-held areas.

Al-Assad took over in 2000 after the death of his father, Hafez, who had seized power in 1970 in a bloodless military coup.

His re-election in a landslide was never in doubt. Al-Assad garnered 95.1 percent of the vote in the election, in which officials said turnout was 78.6 percent of some 18 million registered voters. 

His new term starts with the country still devastated by 10 years of war that killed hundreds of thousands and sliding deeper into a worsening economic crisis.

Nearly half of Syria’s prewar population is either displaced or living in neighbouring countries or Europe as refugees. The war has left tens of thousands missing and devastated the country’s infrastructure.

The United Nations estimates that more than 80 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line. The Syrian currency is in a free fall and basic services and resources have become scarce or are offered at exorbitant parallel market prices.

Fighting has largely subsided, but parts of Syria remain out of government control and foreign troops and armed groups are deployed in different parts of the country.

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