Assad to Russian TV: Elections Show Syrians Back Regime

Syrians showed in elections this month that they support the government's policy of reform and a majority back the regime, President Bashar Assad said in an interview broadcast Wednesday.

The results of the May 7 legislative poll showed that the Syrian people "are until now supporting the policy of reform" and "support the institutions of the state", Assad told Russia's Rossia-24 state news channel.

Assad, whose regime has been engaged in a bloody standoff with opposition rebels, lashed out at "threats of terrorists" which he said were aimed at preventing the elections from taking place.

"The Syrian people are not scared of the threats of terrorists who have tried to wreck the elections or even prevent us from holding them," he added.

Voter turnout was 51.26 percent, Syrian officials have said. However only limited results have been released.

Assad described the elections as a "very important step" and "part of the reform that we started around a year ago".

"The polling stations show the opinion of the people. It is a serious message for everyone both inside the country and also beyond its borders," he added.

Source: Agence France Presse

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