Assad Wins 97.6% of Vote en Route to Re-election Victory

Assad was the only candidate allowed to run in Sunday's referendum; Seven years ago, he won 97.3%.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad won 97.62 percent of the vote in a referendum that confirmed him for a second 7-year term, Interior Minister Bassam Abdel Majeed said on Tuesday.

"This great consensus shows the political maturity of Syria and the brilliance of our democracy and multi-party system," Majeed told reporters.

"There has been some repetition of votes but we caught them by reviewing the voting lists," Majeed said in response to a question about the possibility of vote-tampering.

Assad was the only candidate allowed to run in Sunday's referendum, which had been widely regarded as a formality and boycotted by the opposition.

The 41-year-old president won 97.29 percent of the vote when he succeeded his late father, Hafez al-Assad, seven years ago.

Bashar controls the ruling Baath Party, which took power in a coup in 1963, banned the opposition and imposed emergency law.

Parties attached to the Baath are the only other political groups allowed to exist legally.



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