Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today (Saturday) swore allegiance to the post for the fourth time, having won a 95% majority in the last May elections. This will be Assad’s fourth term, which has ruled Syria since he inherited his father Hafez Assad after his death in 2000.
After his inauguration, Assad delivered a speech in which he addressed the challenges facing Syria today. He noted that one of the main obstacles facing investors is the fact that a lot of Syrian money is frozen in banks in Lebanon, which is suffering from a severe economic crisis. Assad noted that Western sanctions have also created difficulties for the Syrian economy, but added that “we continue to work to overcome them.”
As you may recall, the opposition in the country has announced that it is boycotting the elections, which were held in areas that are only under the control of the regime, with Assad’s victory appearing guaranteed even before the polls open. The United States and European countries have announced that they will not recognize the election results, but Assad dismissed it.
“The value of these positions is nil,” Assad said after voting in the Duma, a suburb in the capital Damascus that was attacked with chemical weapons during the regime’s war on the rebels. “Syria is not what they are trying to sell, one city against another city one committee against another community or a civil war, today we are proving from Duma that the citizens of Syria are united.”