The Week (US)



Assad wins again: Bashar al-Assad was re-elected as Syria’s president this week in a vote that the internatio­nal community called a sham; it’s the second election held since his brutal repression of pro-democracy protests plunged the country into civil war in 2011. Voting was not held in the northern parts of Syria that are occupied by Turkey or controlled by rebels. Syria is in the middle of an economic crisis, with its currency trading on the black market at 4,000 Syrian pounds to the dollar, and nearly 90 percent of Syrians are in dire poverty, unable to afford even basic groceries. Some 6 million people have fled abroad, out of a pre-war population of 22 million, and another 7 million are internally displaced. Assad and his wife, Asma, are now running their ruined country like a mafia state, shaking down the remaining businesses for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 ??  ?? The only vote that counts
The only vote that counts

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