Syrians Vote for President

World | June 3, 2014, Tuesday // 11:13| Views: 775 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Syrians Vote for President A queue of voters wait their turn to vote at a polling site in Damascus, Syria, 03 June 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Syrians are voting in a presidential election on Tuesday, with incumbent Bashar al-Assad in pole position to win a third term.

The opposition has labeled the vote as a "farce", manipulated by the ruling party. Polling stations have only been opened in the government-controlled areas, while people in the rebel-held regions will not be able to have their say, the BBC reports.

Previously, al-Assad and his father Hafez renewed their terms with referendums, where only their name was placed on the ballot. Now, al-Assad's competition doesn't look much sturdier, with the other two candidates Maher al-Hajjad and Hassan al-Nuri widely unknown among the public, Al-Jazeera explains.

The country has been torn by three years of internal war between rebels and the government, which has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced some 6.5 million, according to estimates of the UN.

Security is tight surrounding the elections, as opposition fighters have vowed to disrupt the vote.

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