Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was re-elected on Thursday 27 May 2021 for a fourth term with 95.1% of the votes. During a press conference, the president of the Parliament, Hammoud Sabbagha, announced that out of the 18.1 million, 14.2 million people participated in the election. The participation rate was 76.64%.
In this second election since the beginning of the Syrian war, which broke out in 2011, two candidates ran against Al-Assad; the former minister and parliamentarian Abdallah Salloum Abdallah; and a member of the opposition party ‘tolerated’ by the government, Mahmoud Marei. The Syrian electoral law requires candidates to have lived in Syria for ten consecutive years in order to run for the presidency, which has de facto excluded exiled opponents from the electoral race.
Having come to power in 2000 following the death of his father Hafez Al-Assad, Bashar Al-Assad is subject to several international sanctions, notably because of the use of chemical weapons during the war.