Bashar al-Assad of Syria easily wins his fourth election, the second since the war began and the ninth for his family.

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Bashar al-Assad of Syria easily wins his fourth election, the second since the war began and the ninth for his family.

Bashar al-Assad has handily won his fourth election, the second held during a decade-long civil conflict and the ninth in favor of a dynasty that has ruled Syria for more than half a century.

The incumbent Assad received 95.1 percent of the vote, or 13,540,860 ballots, according to Parliament Speaker Hammouda Sabbagh. Critics, particularly Syrian opposition groups and Western powers that have denounced the race as a fraud, are likely to be skeptical of the figures.

Only two additional candidates, Abdullah Salloum Abdullah and Mahmoud Ahmad Marie, were recognized by Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court out of 51 who filed for the top job.

Assad’s most recent election was in 2014, when he was reported to have won with 88.7% of the vote, a record low for the ruling Assad family. After the death of his father, former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, he reportedly received over 97 percent of the vote in the 2007 Syrian presidential election and 99.7% in a 2000 referendum on his rule.

Even more astounding winning margins were claimed by the elder Assad, including a stated 100% in 1999, a year before his death, 99.9% in 1991, 100% in 1985, 99.9% in 1978, and 99.2 percent in a 1971 referendum on his leadership, a year after gaining power in a coup.

Despite this, pro-Assad protests were held in key cities across Syria, including Aleppo, Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Al-Hasakah, Homs, Latakia, Masyaf, Al-Suwaydah, and Tartous, according to state-run media.

This is a live news story. As new information becomes available, it will be put to this page.

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