Bashar al-Assad ‘Elected’ to Third Term

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attends the closing session of the Arab League Summit in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte on March 28, 2010. Arab leaders met behind closed doors to thrash out a united strategy against Israel's settlement policy as the Jewish state accused them of lacking moderation and blocking peace efforts. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: JOSEPH EID/2010 AFP

With 88.7 percent of the vote, despot Bashar al-Assad has won a third term as Syria’s president, even as he presides over an ongoing civil war. As inflated as Assad’s vote total seems, this was actually the first presidential election in decades to include more than one name on the ballot. The election was still a sham: Voting took place in government-controlled portions of the country and his opponents were nobodies with no chance. Still, Assad managed to lose more than 11 percent of the vote. As far as election totals for brutal dictators go, that’s actually pretty embarrassing.