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Campaigning began Sunday for Syria's June 3 presidential election expected to return Bashar Assad to power, as the regime marked a symbolic victory with the exit of rebels from Homs.In Damascus, campaign posters lauding Assad hung on shopping streets and in public gardens, in the run-up to the country's first multi-candidate presidential vote.Assad, who is competing for his third seven-year term, came to office in 2000, after the death of his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad, who had been in power since 1970 .He faces two competitors, both largely unknown, who qualified from a pool of 23 who sought to run against Assad.The campaigning begins just days after Assad's government claimed a symbolic victory in the central city of Homs, where it retook the Old City after a deal granting rebels there safe passage out.
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