Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected in a landslide, officials said on Wednesday, capturing another seven-year term in the middle of a bloody three-year-old uprising against his rule that has devastated the country.
Assad received 88.7% of Tuesday\’s vote, the state media outlet said, in an election that took place only in areas controlled by the government.
The victory gives Assad a third term in office despite a raging civil war which grew out of protests against his rule.
Al-Nouri received 4.3% of the vote, and Hajjar received 3.2%, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported, citing Parliament Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Laham.
The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court said on Wednesday that the turnout in the country\’s presidential election this week was 73.42 percent.
Majed Khadra said that 11,634,412 out of a total of 15,845,575 eligible voters cast their ballots in Tuesday\’s polls.
The election was held only in government-held areas, excluding vast chunks of northern and eastern Syria that are under rebel control.
The opposition and its allies have denounced the election as a farce.
For the first time in decades, there were multiple candidates on the ballot. In previous presidential elections, Assad and before him his father, Hafez, were elected in single candidate referendums in which voters cast yes-no ballots.
Election observers from several countries, including Syria\’s allies Iran, Russia and Venezuela, told Syrian TV that voting at polling stations that they monitored appeared to go smoothly. Most of the observers expressed support for the government and President Bashar al-Assad.
At a polling station in the coastal government stronghold of Latakiya, an election official told state TV that ballot boxes were still waiting to be counted, but that he expected votes to be tabulated within the next 24 hours.
The voting comes as war continues to rage in Syria.
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.