Russia insists Syria held legitimate presidential vote

Russia insists Syria held legitimate presidential vote
Sat Jun 7, 2014 09:28:43

Moscow insists that last week’s presidential vote process in Syria, leading to the landslide victory of incumbent President Bashar al-Assad with a sizable turnout amid the persisting foreign-backed insurgency war in the nation, was “legitimate.”

“It’s unacceptable to ignore the opinion of millions of Syrians who... came to polling stations and made a choice in the interests of the future of the country,” said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich in a televised briefing on Thursday.

The Russian official further criticized “certain international partners” for their “shallow political reaction” toward the result of the presidential poll in Syria, adding, “We have no basis to cast doubt on the legitimacy of these elections.”

The Russian delegation that observed the presidential election in Syria said the poll was held in a “transparent atmosphere” despite all security concerns in the crisis-hit country, stated Lukashevich, adding that the team “noted a very high turnout.”

According to official figures released late on Wednesday, Assad won nearly 90 percent of the votes cast in Syria’s presidential race. Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court also announced that over 73 percent of the 15.8 million eligible voters had taken part in the election.

Following the announcement, crowds took to the streets throughout the country to celebrate the landslide victory of Assad.

Delegations from different countries, including Iran, Russia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Venezuela, Tajikistan, Zimbabwe and Uganda, monitored the presidential election in Syria.

However, the vote result has drawn angry reactions from the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) - the country’s Western-backed opposition group - and a number of its foreign supporters.

The SNC has described the election as illegitimate. The United States and Britain have also voiced concern over the vote, with US Secretary of State John Kerry calling the poll a “great big zero.”

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