Syria’s parliament yesterday announced that incumbent Bashar al-Assad won Tuesday’s presidential election, winning 88.7 per cent of the vote (10.3 million votes). An hour before the final result was proclaimed a rising ripple of celebratory machine-gun fire rolled across Damascus after Syrian television declared 73.4 per cent, or 11.6 million of Syria’s 15 million registered voters had cast ballots in Tuesday’s presidential election. In the morning, the pro-government daily Al-Watan (The Nation) reported that “millions” had cast ballots, “defying terrorism and its mortars, rockets, car bombs…

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