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Assad declared landslide victor in wartime Syrian election

BEIRUT: President Bashar al-Assad has secured a landslide victory in a wartime election that was condemned as a sham by his opponents but demonstrated his tenacious hold on power after three years of brutal civil war. Parliamentary speaker Mohammad al-Laham said Assad secured 88.7 percent of votes cast in the election, which was held mainly in the central and western parts of the country, where his forces hold sway. "I declare the victory of Dr Bashar Hafez al-Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic with an absolute…