Middle East

Syria elections a 'farce': NATO head

Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Anders Fogh Rasmussen gives a joint press conference before a Defence ministers meeting in Brussels on June 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JOHN THYS

BRUSSELS: NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen dismissed presidential elections in Syria as a "farce" Tuesday, saying they did not meet international standards.

"The Syrian presidential election is a farce," Rasmussen said as he went into a NATO defence ministers meeting.

The vote "does not fullfil international standards for free, fair and transparent elections and I am sure no (NATO) ally will recognise the outcome of these so-called elections," he said.

President Bashar al-Assad is expected to win a crushing victory over two little known challengers in the elections which the Syrian opposition have also condemned as a "farce."

There was no voting in the roughly 60 percent of the country outside the control of Assad's government, which includes large areas of second city Aleppo.

The latest figures put the number of dead in the Syrian conflict at more than 160,000, with no end seemingly in sight.





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