Syria's Bashar al-Assad wins controversial presidential election

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Syria's Bashar al-Assad wins controversial presidential election

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Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has won a third term in office getting 88.7 percent of the vote.

It gives him another seven years in office as a bloody three-year uprising against him continues to devastate the country.

It was the first time in decades that more than one person, outside the Assad family, had been allowed to stand as a presidential candidate.

The election was dismissed as a farce by the opposition and its Western allies including the United States and European Union as the voting only took place in government controlled areas. However delegations from Iran, Russia and Venezuela said the elections were “transparent and free”.

Rebels still control much of northern and eastern Syria and the armed opposition shows no signs of giving up its fight to overthrow Assad.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the three years of conflict, with millions displaced.