Friday, August 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Syria’s Assad wins presidential vote in landslide

By
From page A10 | June 05, 2014 |

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President Bashar Assad has been re-elected in a landslide, officials said Wednesday, capturing another seven-year term in the middle of a bloody 3-year-old uprising against his rule that has devastated the country.

Syria’s parliament speaker, Jihad Laham, announced the final results from Tuesday’s election, saying Assad garnered 10,319,723 votes, or 88.7 percent. Assad’s two challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, won 4.3 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. The Supreme Constitutional Court put turnout at 73.42 percent.

Assad’s victory was always a foregone conclusion, despite the presence of other candidates on the ballot for the first time in decades. The opposition and its Western allies denounced the election as a farce, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling it a “great big zero.”

Damascus erupted into a thunderous, rolling clap of celebratory gunfire that appeared to include heavy weaponry after the results were announced. Thousands of Assad supporters flocked the streets to celebrate, some waving large Syrian flags and others carrying photos of Assad as car horns blared. Some men broke into the familiar pro-Assad chant: “With our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice for you, Bashar!”

Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television aired live footage from the government stronghold of Latakia and the war-ravaged city of Homs, which the government recaptured last month, showing crowds of people celebrating with flags and posters of Assad amid cries of “God, Syria, Bashar!” Fireworks lit up the night sky in Latakia.

Voting was held only in government-controlled areas, excluding huge tracks of northern and eastern Syria that are in rebel hands. Tens of thousands of Syrians abroad voted last week, although many of the more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees across the region either abstained or were excluded by law.

The vote provided no respite from the war. As people filed to the polls in Damascus on Tuesday, the rumble of government shelling and airstrikes on rebellious suburbs provided an ominous backdrop and sobering reminder that not all Syrians were able to cast their ballots.

That did nothing to diminish the enthusiasm of Assad’s supporters, for whom the election victory provided a boost amid a war that has touched every family on both sides of the divide.

The win also provides further evidence that the Syrian leader has no intention of relinquishing power, making a protracted conflict the likely outcome in fighting that has already lasted three years and killed more than 160,000 people.

Assad’s hold on power was not always so secure. Just over a year ago, his grip was slipping as vast swaths of the country fell to the surging rebels. But Assad’s troops — bolstered by allies Iran, Russia and the Lebanese Shiite militant Hezbollah — managed over the past year to turn the tide, and even wrest back some of the ground lost.

For the first time in decades, there were multiple candidates on Syria’s presidential ballot. In previous elections, Assad, and before him his father, Hafez Assad, were elected in single-candidate referendums in which voters cast yes-no ballots. In both Syria’s 2000 and 2007 elections, Assad garnered 97 percent yes votes.

The government has portrayed this vote as a democratic solution to Syria’s conflict, although there’s no indication it will help bridge the differences of a bitterly divided nation. Syria’s rebels remain determined in their fight to oust Assad. Like him, they show no inclination to compromise.

The war has left the international community deeply divided, with the U.S. and its allies backing the revolt against Assad, who enjoys the support of Russia and Iran.

That division persisted in perceptions of Tuesday’s vote.

In Beirut, Kerry sharply criticized the Syrian election, calling it “a great big zero.” It can’t be considered fair, he said, “because you can’t have an election where millions of your people don’t even have an ability to vote.”

“Nothing has changed from the day before the election and the day after. Nothing,” Kerry said during a one-day visit Wednesday to the Lebanese capital. “The conflict is the same, the terror is the same, the killing is the same.”

The European Union joined the U.S. in condemning the election, saying in a statement that “it cannot be considered as a genuinely democratic vote.”

In Damascus, meanwhile, a delegation led by the government’s chief international supporters said Syria’s first multi-candidate presidential election in over four decades was transparent and free, and would pave the way for “stability and national agreement.”

The delegation of officials from more than 30 countries, including legislators and dignitaries from Iran, Russia and Venezuela, toured polling stations on Tuesday. In a final statement read Wednesday by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s Committee on National Security, the delegation blamed the U.S and its allies for “crimes committed against the Syrian people.”

Delegation member Alexey Alexandrov, a Russian senator, told reporters in Damascus that the elections assured “Assad’s legitimacy and mean he cannot be removed in a military operation.”

“I am sure that the elections that happened in Syria were done according to all the principles of democracy and international law,” said Alexandrov, whose country, along with China, has four times vetoed U.N. Security Council sanctions on Damascus.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Trifecta: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ third play in three months

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Gemstones shine at Solano County Fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Japan Summerfest returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Vallejo police arrest suspect in shooting death

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield man settles suit against Raley’s

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots schedule meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Details limited after shooting leaves 1 with injuries

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Highway 12 to close overnight in Jameson Canyon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Air district calls Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Stabbing victim dies in Vacaville

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

A look at the impact of Wisconsin’s union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US, UN announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

As US job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Dow plunges as multiple worries vex investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Report: Secrecy enveloped Bay Bridge construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Californians to see increase in health plan costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Appellate court overturns high-speed rail rulings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Why do so many Americans support Hamas

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Nice guy becomes House majority leader

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Should union organizing be a civil right?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

 
Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Sports

Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
A’s deal Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Chekwa taking reps with Raiders while Hayden sits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Expos fall short in 10-9 loss to Leghorns

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Ravens’ Rice: His actions ‘totally inexcusable’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Commonwealth Games athlete convicted for assault on rival

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nick Watney leads PGA Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rich get richer: Rays’ Price traded to Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Dumdumaya takes third in World Junior/Junior Olympic tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

AP Source: Trump advances in Bills sale process

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Mudcats get 15-7 win in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Derrick Brooks set standard for NFL linebackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Iliad of France makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook’s Internet.org expands in Zambia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
In San Francisco real estate, $1M won’t buy much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9