Assad Has Worst Showing Ever in Syrian Election: A Measly 88.7%

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was officially re-elected for a third seven-year term with a 88.7 percent of the vote, after 73 percent of Syria's eligible voters went to the polls, says the Syrian government.

Though it seems like a laughable result, it's actually the most plausible one yet. In his two previous elections, Assad ran unopposed and nabbed about 97 percent of the vote, so 88.7 percent is a step down. 

The outcome of the election was all but pre-determined. There's reason to doubt the 73 percent attendance figure, as polling centers were only set up in cities that weren't controlled by rebels. Plus, some Syrians were probably busy trying not to get killed in clashes between rebels and pro-government forces. 

According to Syria's parliament speaker, Assad's opponents also won some votes. Hassan al-Nouri gained 4.3 percent of the vote, and Maher Hajjar earned 3.2 percent. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.