Middle East

Assad votes in central Damascus: state TV

In this photo released on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency, Syrian President Bashar Assad casts his vote as Syrian first lady Asma Assad stands next to him at a polling station, in Damascus, Tuesday, June 3, 2014.(AP Photo/Syrian Presidency via Facebook)

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voted in Damascus on Tuesday in an election expected to give him a sweeping win over two little-known challengers, state television reported.

"President Assad voted in a polling station in Maliki," a residential neighbourhood in the city centre, the broadcaster said.

The channel aired still photographs of Assad and his British-born wife Asma as they prepared to cast their votes after filling them in in a curtained booth.

The president wore a dark blue suit, his wife a white blouse, black business skirt and stiletto heels.

Assad's two little-known challengers -- Maher al-Hajjar and Hassan al-Nuri -- both voted earlier in the capital's Sheraton Hotel, an AFP journalist reported.

Voting is being held only in government-controlled areas and the exiled opposition has slammed it as a "blood election", while the United States has dubbed it a "parody of democracy".





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