Syrians living in Lebanon head to the Syrian Embassy in Yarze to vote. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The huge turnout of Syrian citizens in Lebanon, particularly supporters of President Bashar Assad, for the recent presidential election was an unwelcome surprise for March 14, which has struggled to formulate a response as March 8 crows victory.A high-ranking Syrian diplomat challenged the characterization of all Syrians in Lebanon as refugees.A high ranking official in the secretariat complained that the turnout was not representative because Hezbollah and Amal are free to organize buses and rallies in favor of Assad while the opposition lives in fear and operates in secret.The secretariat has since held a series of meetings to discuss the coalition's position on the Syrian refugee crisis following the election. Some blamed the March 14 figures in government – particularly in the Interior Ministry – for allowing such a one-sided show of support for Assad.
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