Syrian President Bashar Assad casts his vote as Syrian first lady Asma Assad stands next to him at a polling station, in Damascus June 3, 2014.(AP Photo/Syrian Presidency via Facebook)
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President Bashar Assad will be sworn in and set out his plans for a new seven-year term Wednesday, state media reported, after his victory in an election that affirmed his grip on power more than three years into Syria's civil war.Dismissed as a sham by Assad's opponents, the vote was held in June in areas of central and northern Syria that remain under state control. Large areas of Syria have fallen to an insurgency dominated by Islamists, including a powerful Al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) that has also seized swath of Iraq. Official returns showed Assad winning 88.7 percent of the vote. It was the first contested presidential election in Syria.
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