US observers, who monitored the June 3 presidential election in Syria, have said that President Bashar al-Assad’s victory is legitimate, and an expression of the people’s will.
Members of the Independent US Observer Mission, Paul Larudee, Joe Iosbaker, Judy Bello, Scott Williams and Jane Stillwater, made the remarks on Wednesday during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The group was part of an international observer mission with delegates from 32 countries.
The observers described the election in Syria as successful, free and transparent. They endorsed the poll as an affirmation of the will of the Syrian people.
They further noted that the massive turnout at the election showed Syrians want peace, democracy and self-rule.
“I’d like to say that I found the Syrian election to be an extraordinary affirmation of the will of the Syrian people. Although the outcome was never in doubt, the Syrians abroad overwhelmed their embassies or flew thousands of miles for the opportunity to vote,” said Paul Larudee, a member of the Independent US Observer Mission.
“In Syria, they came to the polls in vast numbers to demonstrate their support. Clearly, the Syrian people intended to send a message that they support their current government. Well, we got their message,” added.
Joe Iosbaker, another member of the US mission, said that the Syrian election is “a defeat for the United States, for NATO, for the Zionists, and [Persian] Gulf states, and a victory for the Syrians.”
On June 4, it was announced that Assad won 88.7 percent of the vote in the presidential election.
Following the announcement, crowds took to streets throughout the country to celebrate the victory of the incumbent president.
Assad, MP Maher al-Hajjar, and businessman Hassan al-Nouri were competing for the top post.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.
According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
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