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Bashar Al-Assad is presiding over millions of displaced persons and refugees

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Over 600 people, including clergymen, MPs, political figures, and army officers, have attended the swearing-in ceremony of Bashar Al-Assad at the presidential palace in Damascus. He is now serving a fourth 7-year term of office after beating two little-known candidates in the May presidential election with 95.1 per cent of the votes cast in government-held areas.

"The election has proven the strength of popular legitimacy that the people have conferred to the state," said Assad during his inauguration speech. "It has discredited the declarations of Western officials about the legitimacy of the state, the constitution, and the homeland."

Syrian opposition groups described the presidential election as "illegitimate and a sham" and called the inauguration a "silly charade". Regional and international monitors stressed that the election result was not legitimate and did not represent the Syrian people. They pointed out that Assad's new term starts with the ongoing killing of Syrians and an unbearable economic crisis. News agencies have reported that the Assad regime shelled the village of Serjeh in north-west Syria, killing three children and their mothers,........

© Middle East Monitor

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