A Syrian student shows her ink-stained thumb after casting her vote in the country's presidential elections at a polling station in the Baath University of Homs, north of Damascus, on June 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID
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Assad won Tuesday's election with nearly 89 percent support, according to officials, triggering celebrations in some government-controlled parts of Syria where voting took place.Assad's international allies, including Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, all praised the election.Russia said a team of parliamentary observers from countries mostly sympathetic to Assad had found the poll fair, free and transparent, and criticized nations that denounced the vote.Yasin Aktay, head of the foreign affairs department of Turkey's ruling AK Party, said elections in Syria and Egypt – where former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi got 96.9 percent of votes in a low turnout – were both "a complete comedy". The official figures also suggest that many majority Sunnis turned out to vote for Assad, whether out of weariness with the conflict or fear of retribution if they did not vote.Many of Assad's opponents also ended up voting.
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