Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected for a fourth term as president of war-ravaged Syria, official results showed, despite Western accusations the polls were "neither free nor fair". The controversial vote extending Assad's stranglehold on power was the second since the start of a decade-long civil conflict that has killed more than 388,000 people, displaced millions and battered the country's infrastructure.

What

  1. The parliamentary speaker announced that Assad garnered 95.1 per cent of the votes cast, trouncing two virtually unknown challengers.
  2. On the eve of the election, the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy said the poll was "neither free nor fair", and Syria's fragmented opposition has called it a "farce".
  3. In the last multi-candidate poll in 2014, Assad won 88 per cent of the vote.
  4. The vote took place amid the lowest levels of violence since the war erupted in 2011 -- but with the economy in free fall.
  5. More than 80 per cent of the populations live in poverty, and the Syrian pound has plunged in value against the dollar, causing skyrocketing inflation.
  6. Assad was first elected by referendum in 2000 after the death of his father Hafez al-Assad, who had ruled Syria for 30 years.