Syrians are voting on a new constitution as bombs continue to fall in several parts of the country.
President Bashar al Assad says this referendum offers the chance of multi-party elections in three months. Critics say it will keep him in power until 2028.
The two ballots held since he took over 12 years ago confirmed his mandate with official “yes” votes of more than 97 per cent.
Bassam Haddad, a polling station manager in Damascus said: “Since the early hours voting has been good. It is so much more than we expected. We can say it is 200 per cent of what we expected at this point.”
There has been a real debate in Syria about the proposed constitution and many are prepared to give it a chance.
“Nothing’s perfect because this is the first time it has been done,” said one man. “But 90 per cent of this constitution is in line with the public’s expectations.”
However voting in the flashpoints of the anti-Assad uprising has been rendered all but impossible with residents saying it is simply to dangerous to venture out.