DAMASCUS | Syrians voted on Tuesday in an election expected to deliver an overwhelming victory for President Bashar al-Assad but which his opponents have dismissed as a charade in the midst of Syria’s devastating civil war.
Rebel fighters, the political opposition in exile, Western powers and Gulf Arabs say no credible vote can be held in a country where swathes of territory are outside state control and millions have been displaced by conflict.
State television showed long queues of people waiting to vote at polling stations in areas under state control, as well as crowds waving flags and portraits of the president. Assad, looking relaxed and wearing a dark blue suit and light blue tie, voted at a central Damascus polling station with his wife Asma.
For many Syrians politics took second place to the overriding yearning for stability after three years of war which have killed more than 160,000 people.
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