Maximum turnout in the Syrian elections, which also led to a five-hour extension of the elections, especially as Syria faces maximum obstacles and challenges, and in recent months and weeks sabotage and propaganda and psychological efforts of the West-Arab Front to reduce the level of public turnout was at an all-time high, the “highlight” of that country is presidential elections that should not be underestimated.
Unlike the 2014 elections, in which most of Syria was controlled by the Takfiri and opposition groups, this election was held in all regions and cities, except in Idlib and parts of the east of the Euphrates which were beyond the control of the government, with maximum welcome and out of a total of 18 million and 107 thousand eligible people, 14 million and 239 thousand people, or about 78%, participated in it and Bashar Assad managed to get 13 million 540 thousand 360 votes out of the total number of votes.
In addition to Bashar Assad, Abdallah Salum Abdallah, a government figure with a background in government, and Mahmoud Ahmad Marai, a key opposition figure and secretary general of the Syrian Democratic Front, were present in the elections who received 1.5 percent of the votes, or 213,000 votes, and 3 percent, or 401,000 votes, respectively.
Maximum participation under difficult economic, political and security conditions
Maximum turnout in the Syrian presidential elections took place while if the economic, political, military and security conditions which prevailed in Syria existed in any other country, it would make holding of the elections in that country difficult, let alone that a large part of the people would participate in it.
About 78 percent of the Syrians went to the polls amid tough economic sanctions, especially in recent years by the European Union and the United States, especially under the complex Caesar Act, as well as the Turkish government’s anti-Syrian measures which had created very difficult conditions to persuade the people to participate in the elections. Meanwhile, the east of the Euphrates and the Kurdish regions, which have become the main bases for the presence of foreign countries and opposition and armed groups, could have faced the elections with a complicated situation.
Efforts by the United States, the European Union, Turkey and some countries in the region to disrupt and sabotage the election process, to make plans to boycott the elections that have been accompanied by heavy psychological operations for weeks, to wage a fierce media war against Bashar Assad, to initiate scenarios such as holding separate elections in east of the Euphrates and Idlib or sabotaging some areas, including Quneitra, Daraa and As-Suwayda, by issuing night letters and announcements and consulting with tribal leaders not to run in the elections and various other scenarios, although created difficult conditions for the presidential election, with the tact of Bashar Assad’s government and the support of some friendly countries such as Iran, Russia and China, none of them could prevent this important elections from taking place in Syria.
Strategic dimensions of Bashar Assad’s election
The election of Bashar Assad with 95.1% of the votes cast, despite the conditions mentioned above, should be considered as the most important strategic dimension of the presidential elections in Syria. The Syrian people, as they have seen the Assad family as a symbol of “power, dignity and honor of the Syrian people” since 1964, have shown in recent elections that this belief is ingrained in the Syrian society despite extensive efforts to tarnish the image of the Assad family.
The decisive victory of Bashar Assad in the elections should be considered as a reflection of the field and military achievements in the election arena and it should be translated into the alignment and convergence of the people with the political leadership in Syria; a leader who, despite all the conspiracies and violent hardware and complex software actions of the Western-Arab Front, enjoys such “legitimacy and acceptance” among his people that more than 95% of the participants decide to let him take charge of their affairs for another 7 years. Naturally, this should be mentioned as a golden leaf in the Syrian political system.
The re-election of Bashar Assad in the presidential elections of a country that was the hotbed of the bloodiest terrorist groups for 7 years, even going as far as the establishment of the most terrorist government in human history, shows the important and strategic point that Syria has gone through difficult crises and has regained its normal function.
Presence of 78% of the people in the elections and the election of Bashar Assad with 95% of the votes has no other meaning than the legitimacy and acceptability of the political system in Syria are determined not by the criteria and characteristics of Western countries and the United States but by the Syrian people. To demonstrate and understand the strategic importance of the Syrian people’s decision to elect Bashar Assad, it is necessary to refer to what was precisely stated by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric in his press conference who said: To discuss the Syrian decision, we heard the announcement of the May 26 presidential election in Syria. These elections were held within the framework of the current Syrian constitution and are not part of the political process set out in Resolution 2254; we are not a party involved in this election and we have no authority or legitimacy to interfere in this country.
In addition, the participation of the people in the elections, as described, had another strategic dimension, and that is the transmission of the message of power and self-confidence and reliance on internal structures and arrangements to overcome the existing crises, to the region and the international community.
Consequences of Bashar Assad’s election
The re-election of Mr. Bashar Assad has important and significant consequences, the following are some of the most important ones:
- Approval of Bashar Assad’s policies, approaches and plans in various dimensions, both internally and externally, is the most important consequence of Bashar Assad’s re-election for the presidency.
- Continuation of stability in Syria and continuation of superiority of the current political system in the political and field arenas;
- Failure of all foreign plans aimed at overthrowing the Syrian and Arab political system;
- Failure of American diplomacy, which for seven years sought to oust Assad from presidency through the United Nations and through the Geneva political path;
- Re-legitimizing the constitution, political system, structures and government institutions, elimination of which has been one of the strategic goals of the hostile countries and actors in Syria for 10 years;
- Accelerating Syria’s return and role in the region with its special political role, economic networks and geopolitical position;
- Accelerating opening the door to interactions between Western and Arab countries and Damascus in the coming months;
- Creating another 7-year opportunity to attract groups opposed to the Syrian regime;
- Strengthening the discourse of resistance in the region and helping some members of this front to get out of the existing impasse, including the political impasse in Lebanon;
The maximum participation of the Syrian people in the elections and the re-election of Mr. Bashar Assad as the President of the country should be considered in line with the success of the Islamic Resistance Front in Yemen, Palestine and Syria, in favor of the Islamic Resistance. Certainly, continuation of this trend will present very clear horizons for the coming months and years in front of the Resistance, which is strengthening the balance of power in the region which is unique and unprecedented in its kind.