Bashar al-Assad won 88.7 percent of the vote in Syria's presidential election, parliament speaker Mohammad al-Laham said on Wednesday, securing a third term in office despite a raging armed rebellion against him.
"I declare the victory of Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic with an absolute majority of the votes cast in the election," Laham said in a televised address from his office in the Syrian parliament, according to Reuters.
Syria's constitutional court earlier said that turnout in Tuesday's election and an earlier round of voting for Syrian expatriates stood at 73 percent.
Syrian officials had described the predicted victory as vindication of Assad's three-year campaign against those fighting to oust him.
Voting took place in government-controlled areas of Syria, but not in large parts of northern and eastern Syria held by rebels fighting to end 44 years of Assad family rule.
Iran vows to help Syria in reconstruction process
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said fighting terrorism and reconstruction of the country will be the main priorities of the new government in Damascus.
“Among other priorities of the Syrian government are to provide housing to those displaced, realize national reconciliation and repatriate Syrian refugees,” Muallem said in a meeting in Damascus with an Iranian parliamentary delegation that was invited to observe the presidential election on Thursday.
The Syrian foreign minister also stated that despite all threats Syrians participated in the June 3 presidential election, and showed that there is no solution for the crisis in Syria other than a political one.
Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Committee for National Security and Foreign Policy of the Islamic Republic’s parliament, who headed the Iranian delegation, stated that the Iran will help in the reconstruction of Syria.
On Thursday, the Syrian army regained the control of a key town near the capital Damascus.
The official SANA news agency quoted military officials as saying that the army recaptured the town of al-Thawra in al-Kiswah district, which is located in Damascus countryside.
The army also reportedly destroyed a large cache of weapons.
Assad's foes had dismissed the election as a charade, saying the two relatively unknown challengers offered no real alternative and that no poll held in the midst of civil war could be considered credible.
The conflict has killed 160,000 people, driven nearly 3 million abroad as refugees and displaced many more inside Syria.
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