Bashar al-Assad was sworn in for a new seven-year term as President of Syria for the third time on Wednesday agency reports said.
“I pledge to respect the constitution and protect the people of Syria,” he said during a live broadcast on Syrian television at a red carpet ceremony held at the presidential palace in Damascus.
The presidential election was held last month in areas of central and northern Syria that still remain under state control by approximately 88.7 percent. Assad defeated two other candidates that were seen by some as puppets rather than actual opponents.
Assad’s victory goes as proof of his grip on power and people’s support despite Syria being more than three years into civil war, while his opposition, namely the National Coalition, called the election as nothing but a “farce” even before it actually took place. US Secretary of State John Kerry and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen later on echoed this opinion.