Tags / Syria Presidential Election 2014
June 04, 2014
Car convoys of supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad rally on the Mezzeh Highway in central Damascus.
June 4, 2014
Election officials in the government-held Mezze neighborhood of Damascus count votes from yesterday's Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the Real Estate Bank. Video includes interviews with election officials.
Abdul Latif Ahmad, Head of Polling Station:
“The election started at 7 in the morning and the turn out was huge. The whole process went easily and smoothly and lasted until 7 in the evening and then it was extended until 12 midnight. At 12 midnight we closed the boxes and sealed them with a plastic seal. Then we opened the boxes and counted the envelopes. We placed the counted envelopes into cases, each case contains 100 envelopes. After that we opened each case and counted the number of votes each candidate got according to the voting ballots. It was very easy going”.
Ezzeddin Ismail, Supervisor of the Counting Process:
“The voting process started at 7 in the morning. The turn out was really big, so we required a five hour extension until 12 midnight. Thank God the first election in 60 years went very smoothly. The Syrian population expressed their ambitions and hopes about the president they want to lead them into the future and everything went well. Now that the voting is finished, we have started the counting process”.
A group of women cast their votes at a polling station in the al-Andalus school, Homs.
Presidential candidate Maher Hajjar drops his voting slip into the ballot box, at a polling station in Damascus.
His Eminence Sheikh al-Akl, spiritual leader of the Druze sect, casts his vote in the Syrian presidential election in the southern city of Sweida.
June 3, 2014
Residents in the Government-Held city of Homs cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Baath University.
Fatima Hussein, head of polling station:
"Since the early morning, ever since we got to the polling station ready to vote, large numbers of people came to the polling station. This is a huge rebuttal to all the enemies of Syria who are fighting us. This huge turnout came to vote for the new president of Syria who will lead us to the safety and security and help us rebuild Syria".
Mohamad al-Nasri, "Syria Lovers Youths" Spokesperson:
"We came here today to join this national celebration. We are convinced that we are going to vote for President Bashar al-Assad to renew his presidency because he is our leader here in Syria. We are also, as young adults, working here in the polling station to organize the election and ease the voting process. We are very happy on this day because we truly consider it a national celebration".
A group of elders from the Druze, a religious sect largely loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, vote at a school in Sweida.
A line of voters wait under a poster of the Syrian presidential candidates at a polling station.
June 3, 2014
al-Matar Neighborhood, Deraa, Syria
Video shows Syrians in the government held Deraa neighborhood of al-Matar casting their ballots at a polling station in the al-Oumawiyin Elementary School.
Ramez Zarzour, Head of Polling Station:
“Whoever wants to vote can take the voting ballot and enter the secret room, or he can do the procedure here in front of people. He chooses his candidate and votes for him. Many people came today. Even though we are suffering from difficult situations many people still came in”.
Ramia Ibrahim, Resident:
“Today I voted with my free will, and by that we would be applying the concept of democracy they [the international community] were referring to, but of course in our own way, not theirs...not the way of blood and destruction. Today we started building Syria and we will keep going. I voted for the person who will build Syria and we will be behind him”.
Ahmad al-Fares, Resident:
“We came here today to ensure our belonging to this country, to Syria. [We came] to ensure our loyalty to this country, and to say 'yes' to the presidential election”.
June 3, 2014
Residents in the Government-Held city of Homs cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the al-Baath University.
Mohamad Moussa (Resident):
“I came here to vote for the right president, the one who will help us against terrorism, the one who rebuild Syria and who make us feel secure. We should all vote, it is a right for every citizen and I wish they would let our little children vote because it is a right. This is a celebration and a victory for Syria which proved to the whole world that it is strong and resistant. We want a president who is a fighter, who is strong and able to return security to Syria”.
Imad Ali (Residnet):
“We are the citizens of Homs and we are here to participate in this public celebration because it is real democracy and we want to teach the whole world that in Syria there is true democracy. While they [the world] lack the simplest means of democracy, we participate in this public celebration because we want a unified Syria governed by president Bashar al-Assad. Syria is facing the imperial system and we will participate in the election because Syrians taught pride, resilience and democracy to the world”.
June 3, 2014
Rural Idlib, Syria
Residents and FSA fighters in rural, opposition-held Idlib discuss the the Syrian Presidential election and condemn it as illegitimate.
“Seven years ago I voted for Bashar al-Assad with my blood. We were ignorant, look, this is my home, I used to work day and night for 400 Syrian pounds [8$ at the time]. I had debts and I am very poor. After these three years my house is gone, my family’s house is destroyed. We do not know what to say to him [Bashar al Assad]. What election is he talking about after he destroyed the homes and widowed the women? And after children suffered terror from the Mig missiles? What election is he talking about?”
Abu Mohamad (FSA fighter):
“Concerning the people participating in the election, they are traitors just like Bashar. They participated in killing the Syrian people. They are the ones who sold the souls and the blood of Syrians, they sold their land to Bashar al-Assad and his people”.
Khaled (FSA fighter):
“The person who votes for Bashar is exactly similar to the soldier who is killing us and dropping bombs on us. Whoever votes for Bashar, sold his land and his blood and primarily his religion”.
Abu Youssef (FSA fighter):
“Concerning Idlib province, I have heard that they have food baskets near the polling stations. Each person who votes gets a food basket, each person who votes for this dictator who practiced all types of torture on us”.
Khalil (FSA fighter):
“The election is this weapon, how are we going to vote with the planes above us firing at us?”
Abu Uday (resident):
“This election has no base, where are the people who will vote? He is dropping barrel bombs on us everyday”.
A man drops his voting slip into the ballot box, at the Municipality building in Sweida.
June, 3, 2014
Polling station in the Ministry of Information in Damascus filling up with voters day progresses.
Vox Pop 1:
“I made a finger print with blood on my voting ballot for President Bashar al-Assad because he is the only one who can help us out of this crisis. We are all by his side to rebuild Syria and become better and better”.
Vox Pop 2:
“[This] Election is a constitutional right for every Syrian citizen who is proud of his nationality. This election came at a very sensitive period of time and it is necessary so that all Syrian citizens can vote and show the world what Syria is all about. All citizens should participate to choose the right president at the right time”.
Vox Pop 3:
“We as Syrian mothers are feeling the importance of this event more than anyone. Today we are electing a new Syria and we are witnessing the birth of a new Syria. It is true that we feel pain, pain for the martyrs and pain for the destruction that has happened because of the terrorist militias, but, as always, the joy of birth and the happiness you feel when you see a new born makes you forget the pain”.
Vox Pop 4:
“The election today is a democratic turning point in the history of modern Syria. Today is very important and every ballot box represents a bullet in the face of the enemy. Whoever conspired against Syria is now waiting for the results of this election and the results will definitely be in favor of the people and the country”.
Vox Pop 5:
“We are here in the Ministry of Information and we voted for the president Bashar al-Assad. This election is very important to all Syrians and I hope for all citizens to participate”.
June, 2, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria
Residents in the opposition-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta discuss the Syrian presidential election. All of those interviewed say they do not recognize the election as legitimate.
Yassin, Social Worker:
“This election done by the regime is a joke. What [kind of] election is it when people starve? What [kind of] election is it when missiles are hitting Um al-Mleiha and areas in Aleppo everyday? What [kind of] election is it when the mortars are hitting us everyday?”
Interviewer: What do you expect to happen after the election? Do you expect the regime to become lenient, or to become harder, or to find methods of solving the crisis?
“The regime is internally destroyed, but it is doing its best to hide it”.
Abou Khaled, Constructions Worker:
“What is this election that is happening while we are suffering everyday from starvation and bombing? He is attacking us with mortars, missiles, and all kinds of bombs and weapons everyday. What [kind of] election is it after all the martyrs and the bloodshed and while the international community is going along with it? This election is a comedy play”.
Do you expect the regime to be harder on people after the election and to be more monstrous in dealing with the areas that do not fall under its control?
“Speaking of the regime, it is going down no matter what. It is only a matter if time, but it is going down”.
After being under siege, don’t you fear the regime will do more?
“We saw what no other population has seen. We do not care, we expect anything from him [Bashar al-Assad], and he can do whatever he wants”.
Aous, Refugee Doctor from Damascus:
“The regime does not care at all about the opinions of the inhabitants of besieged Ghouta. He is fighting them because they stood up and said, 'No, we do not want you as president!' We do not want a criminal as a presidential candidate. When there is an election where no criminals are candidates we will participate”.
June 3, 2014
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts his ballot in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Malki Neighborhood of Damascus.
Video Source: Syrian State Television
June, 3, 2014,
Residents in the opposition-held Damascus suburb of al-Hajar al-Aswad tell of starvation and mourning on election day and express their opinions about the Syrian presidential election. Opposition-held areas, like al-Hajar al-Aswad, are excluded from the voting process and have no polling stations.
Vox Pop 1:
“[We are] Still going on with our lives. We have no idea about the election happening outside. We are here in a besieged area in southern Damascus where we have no electricity and no water. We do not know what is happening outside of this area and we are still going on with the revolution. And about the election, who is it for? For the people’s blood, or for the chemical and barrel bombs? Or for the children who he [Bashar al-Assad] starved and slaughtered? What elections is he talking about? The country is destroyed and there are nine million refugees within Syria and outside. What should we put in the ballot boxes, the names of the martyrs? The names of the children who died from chemical weapons? Or the children who were slaughtered? What elections? For the country that is now occupied by Iran and Russia, the country that he [Bashar al-Assad] destroyed? Now he wants to make elections?!”
Vox Pop 2:
“This election is a joke. It is made so we would vote for a appalling president. Here in the liberated areas we are living our lives normally and we do not care about such an election, it is not credible and he is lying to the people. He is lying to himself and to the people because they are stupid and they need a stupid president like himself”.
Vox Pop 3:
“First let him bring back my mother and father who he killed with bombs and then I will vote for him. And let him give us food and water and open the roads for us and then I will vote for him”.
Vox Pop 4:
“This is the clearest image of the election. If you want to know about the election look at this: a bit of rice and soup, we are starved and besieged. Either you starve or kneel. If you want to vote for Bashar al-Assad, then you have to kneel before him. Let whoever wants to vote for him and kneel. This is the clearest image of the election, we have been completely besieged by the regime for over a year now. The election that we are having here in al-Hajar al-Aswad is being called the "Blood election". It [the Blood Election] is the election for the martyrs of the brigades of the FSA in the southern area. This [the Blood Election] is the real election because it is not meant for Bashar, [the person] who destroyed the country, killed people, and raped women”.
Vox Pop 5:
Interviewer: There is an election going on today...
“What election? Look at the people standing in line, waiting for the bit of rice to eat! And you say election?!”
Vox Pop 6:
“This election is for him and his thugs. Whoever demanded freedom has no election. This election is for his thugs”.
Vox Pop 7:
“As you can see we are breaking wood. We have no opinion in the election because we demanded freedom. We no longer have an opinion and he [Bashar al Assad] will win 100%. His people, his supporters, and his thugs are more important [to Bashar al-Assad] than us. All of this is for the international community so it would agree with him because it is just as hypocritical as Bashar al-Assad. As you can see, we are excluded from all of this”.
Vox Pop 8:
Interviewer: Today election is going on in Damascus, what are you doing?
“As you can see, this is the election for Bashar. We are cooking on wood fire to eat, that is if we eat. What is this election for? For the barrel bombs or our children who they [the Syrian Army/Government] have abducted? Or for my son who starved to death? Why should we vote for him [Bashar al-Assad]? If we do not vote for him they [the government/army] would hurt us when we stop at check points. Why would we vote for him? You can see our situation, we are begging for food, a bag of flour costs 1000 Syrian Pounds ($4). We go from place to place begging for food. One day we eat and ten days we have nothing to eat. Why would we vote for him after all this? For our children who died or the ones they have abducted or the innocent who had done nothing? May God have no mercy for him. If we find a bit of food to eat I hope he never finds it”.
June 3, 2014
Residents and religious leaders in the government controlled city of Sweida vote and celebrate at a polling station during the Syrian presidential election. Included are interviews with two election workers in two different polling stations, and with the Sheikh al-Akl, the spiritual leader of Druze sect in Syria.
Adnan Janoud, Head of the First Polling Station in Sweida province:
"At 6:30 in the early morning we started. We had the presence of the judiciary committee who opened the boxes and make sure there were no papers inside. They then sealed them again with the committee, the agents, and the journalists as witnesses. The vote then started after we set the right atmosphere for the voters to feel free to enter the secret room [voting booth]. Throughout the huge turn out, we were able to organize the voting process comfortably and smoothly. Large numbers of people showed up to vote and we had to remember that they came here during the difficult times Syria is suffering from. Voters came here, not only to vote for a president, but to vote for [their opinion on] the situation and for the resistance in this area, and [their will] to stand in the face of all the forces cooperating against Syria, be they foreign or Arab. We faced no obstacles during the voting process”.
Najat al-Shaar, Head of Second Polling Station in Sweida:
"We consider this a national celebration, a complete national celebration. We will definitely win with such a resilient people, resilient army, and resilient leader. I would like to thank these people for their excitement and love for their country and their love for the Syrian army”.
Interviewer: Are you facing any difficulties?
“There are no difficulties, only the joy and excitement that you can see. There is no difficulty, we will win with help of God, thank you”.
“Today is a democratic celebration, it is a celebration for Syrians. It is our victory and pride, our national duty, and it is about facing everyone. I came here to vote for the President, Dr. Bashar al-Assad, our candidate, and our pride and protector”.
“Today represents the love between Syrians and we would like to salute our leader Dr. Bashar al-Assad. Today is a national celebration that indicates Syrians love for each other and their unity”.
“Today is the day of victory, and it is the day of the presidential election. It is the day Syria enters the modern stage with the leadership of Bashar al-Assad. Today we will be together along with Bashar al-Assad--Bashar the protector, Bashar the victor--and along with the Syrian Arab army to conquer the invaders and kick out the terrorists”.
Interviewer: Your Eminence, what does this day mean to you?
Sheikh al-Akl, Spiritual Leader of the Druze Sect in Syria:
“It is a national celebration to prove to the world that Syria is able to manage itself and take care of its own business. Syrians are the ones to decide the fate of Syria and the process of voting for the President is evidence to our victory. This victory comes in time with the victory of the Syrian Arab Army on the ground. We proved to everyone that our choice is a peaceful solution and national dialogue. It is a message to be sent that the crisis in Syria cannot be solved without the approval of Syrians or with violence and destruction”.
An enormous, pro-government, crowd gathers on al-Mshabke street in Tartus
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts his vote, surrounded by crowds of supporters, Damascus.
A crowd of people in the village of Jdeidet Yaboos, near Qudssaya, wave the Syrian flag and posters of Bashar al-Assad.
June, 3, 2014
Syrian presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri casts his vote at a polling station in the Sheraton hotel in central Damascus. Nouri held a press conference in the same location after casting his vote.
“Today in Syria we have started a new era, the era of true victory over terrorism and this global war [inflicted on Syria]. Syria has won with the will of its people and the great Syrian Army. I, as a presidential candidate of the Syrian Republic, have voted for myself of course. I declare that if it was not for the strength of the great people of Syria, we would not have got to this day. We stand here among all of you voting for the new president of this country, among the will of Syrians and the strength of Syrians and thank you”.
Question: What are you chances of wining given the popularity of Bashar al-Assad?
“President Assad is very popular, but he is also facing strong competitors”.
Question: What do you promise Syrians if you become president?
“If I become president, I promise Syrians that I will walk the path of national dialogue and a peaceful Syrian to Syrian dialogue. [I promise] to fight terrorism in order to achieve peace and security in this country and to commence the project of national economic and social reform that we desperately need”.
Question: In case you do not win in the election, how will you serve your country?
“If I do not reach the position of president, I will remain a good citizen who does his best to serve his country. I believe that I have recorded my name in the political field of Syria and I am certain that we will all play a great role in building Syria and accomplishing total victory”.
Question: How do you feel about the election process so far?
“So far the whole operation is democratic and we are optimistic that we will see a strong victory. This enormous march of people is something that I was not expecting. This march is expected to continue into the night and we might need to extend [the election] for another day”.
A crowd of people wait to vote at the Directorate of Health, in government-held Idlib.
A woman, holding her Syrian ID card, waits for her turn to vote at the Directorate of Health in Tartus.
People gather to vote at the Baniyas Post Office in Tartus.
A long line of voters cheer, in the village of Jdeidet Yaboos, near Qudsaya.
A woman casts her vote at a polling station in the Directory of Education, Hama.
Presidential candidate Maher Hajjar casts his vote at a polling station in Damascus.
People gather to vote at the Baniyas Post Office, Tartus.
A huge crowd waits to vote at the Directorate of Agriculture in Hama.
Syrians voting in the Syria presidential election, June 3, 2014
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asmaa al-Assad, prepare their voting slips at a polling station in Damascus.
A crowd of women voters at the Municipality building in Idlib.
People gather to vote at Mustafa Khalouf high school in Tartus.
A group of pro-Assad voters congregate near a police station in Idlib, wearing matching caps and t-shirts.
June, 2, 2014
Syrians in government-held Deraa celebrate the Syrian presidential election. Footage includes vox pops with celebration attendees.
Deraa Resident 1:
“I am a Syrian citizen from Deraa. I will head tomorrow to the polling station to practice my right to vote for the President who represents me. The President [Bashar al-Assad] can fulfill the needs of the Syrian population, there are many candidates, but I will chose and commit to president Bashar al-Assad because he represents the Syrian national unit”.
Deraa Resident 2:
“We are here in Deraa and we are going tomorrow to vote for the person who deserves it, the one who can protect Syrian. That person is President Bashar al-Assad”.
Deraa Resident 3:
“Tomorrow we will participate in the election and vote for the person who will represent us and the person who will improve our country. That person, of course, is Bashar al-Assad”.
Deraa Resident 4:
“We have suffered some difficult days here in Syria. After all of the safety and security that we enjoyed, we will say yes to Mr. President [Bashar al Assad], the one who brought safety back to Syria. I've seen interviews with people and all of them say yes to President Bashar al-Assad, the maker of peace and love”.
Deraa Resident 5:
“Voting is a right and a duty for each Syrian citizen, not only the citizens of Deraa. All of the citizens agree that he [Bashar al-Assad] will lead us to safety and security”.
June, 2, 2014
Residents in the government-held city of Tartus give their opinions on the Syrian presidential election. Video shows streets of Tartus, including shots of posters of Bashar al-Assad, and vox pops with people in the streets.
Vox Pop 1:
“This election is proof of democracy [in Syria]. Although the election is necessary, to us Bashar al-Assad is definitely the President”.
Vox Pop 2:
“I am going to the polling station with my wife and kids tomorrow and we will vote for the protector and builder of Syria [Bashar al Assad]. That is why we are all going and we are taking whoever we can along with us”.
Vox Pop 3:
“First of all this is our constitutional right and our duty and we should be responsible, not only myself, I call for all Syrians to vote, just as our brothers in foreign countries tried to vote, we should do that too”.
Vox Pop 4:
“We will strongly participate in the election and we will vote for the right man in the right place”.
June, 1, 2014
Video shows Syrian children in the opposition-held al-Tadamon neighborhood of Damascus assemble a mock polling box where they use shoes instead of voting ballots to demonstrate their opposition to Bashar al-Assad. The shoes belong to people who have been killed in the fighting in al-Tadamon. Waving or throwing a shoe at someone is considered a serious insult in Syrian culture. Footage includes vox pops of civilians and FSA fighters expressing their opinions about the Syrian presidential election.
What are you doing?
“I am voting for Bashar.”
And why are you voting for him like this?
“That is his worth and value.”
What did Bashar do to you?
“He starved us and he killed all of our relatives.”
Interviewer: Do you like him [Bashar al-Assad]?
Interviewer: How are you voting for him [Bashar al-Assad]?
“We are voting for him with shoes [sign of disrespect in Syrian culture].”
Interviewer: What are you doing here?
“I am voting for Bashar.”
Interviewer: Why are you voting for him like this?
“This is his value.”
Interviewer: What did he do to you?
“He dropped bombs on us; we can see the planes firing at us. We became very hungry and nobody fed us or cared for us.”
Mohamad (FSA fighter):
“This election is a big joke. He is undermining the rebel forces and us and he thinks people are bling and ignorant. You can see even the children here did a polling box to vote for him with shoes. These are the shoes of the martyrs, of the fathers who died because of the bombing and the shelling. We have only God to support us.”
“Bashar al-Assad will not win, no matter what, he will not win. We will take him down with our shoes. If he has missiles, we have guns, like this, and we will beat his army. They have Bashar al-Assad to support them but we have God. Allahu Akbar [God is Great]!”
Sarcastically: “Look at what he gave us, good living conditions, that’s why we should vote for him.”
Interviewer: What do you think of the presidential election?
Saleh (FSA fighter):
“Bashar will definitely be taken down. He starved us and people had to plant in the streets to harvest something to eat. He starved us and we do not acknowledge him or his government.”
“Look at this, he [Bashar al-Assad] drops barrel bombs on us. Look at the destruction, that is why we should not vote for him. He was considered an illegitimate leader since the first day we protested.”
Interviewer: What do you think of the presidential election?
Fadel (FSA fighter):
“The Election here is 100% doomed to fail. The first droplet of blood here was enough to make him an illegitimate leader and no one here will vote for him. We named this election "The election of blood". The situation here does not allow anybody to vote for a president like him. He dropped bombs on us and destroyed us, why would we vote for him after all this? The people who are going to vote for him are the people living underneath his protection.”
“We are here in al-Tadamon, a fully liberated area, and we do not acknowledge this election. Bashar al-Assad became an illegitimate leader since the first droplet of blood was spilled in Dara'a and all other areas. He is no longer our president.”
Ali (FSA fighter):
“These elections are made for his [Bashar al-Assad's] supporters only. We are free. Since the revolution started, Bashar became an illegitimate leader. We will keep fighting here in al-Tadamon and we will keep fighting until we take down this dictator with God’s help.”
Abu Saleh (civilian):
“This is the election of blood. What election are they talking about? People are dying, they are hungry, besieged, humiliated, and women are being imprisoned everywhere, it is a very sad thing.”
June, 2, 2014
Syrians in the government-held city of Sweida discuss the Syrian presidential election. Video shows street shots of Sweida, including shots of posters of Bashar al-Assad, along with vox pops of local residents on the street.
“In times like these Syria is witnessing political pluralism, pluralism in the field of election. We had three candidates running in the election and each candidate got what he deserved from this whole election process. However, we can notice that people are totally convinced-of course I am speaking on behalf of my family, my province, and my whole nation-we all agree that nobody is able to handle such responsibility [of ruling Syria] other than President Bashar Hafez al-Assad”.
“We are all going tomorrow to vote for the honorable man who rules the country with integrity and cleaned it from the corruption. We choose, all of us, old and young, the President Dr. Bashar al-Assad to be a role model of honor and integrity. Any other president would have boarded a plane and left, but he stayed and did not give up on his country”.
“We are all, as Syrian citizens, going tomorrow, June 3rd, to practice our right to vote. All of us in Sweida province will be the first people to go to the polling stations and vote for the Doctor [Bashar al-Assad]. He is our Doctor and the Doctor of all Syrians. He is not only the leader of Syria, he is the leader of all Arab countries and he deserves to lead Syria because he lived this crisis for three years. With all due respect to everyone, we lived with him through the good times and the bad time and he was always there supporting us”.
“We salute our Syrian army and the wise leadership of President Bashar Hafez al-Assad to designate June 3rd as the date of the election. I am sure that Syrians will rush to the polling stations to vote for the right candidate, the one who will lead Syria to safety”.
“Tomorrow we are going to vote in order to prove the decision [of who rules the country] is in the hands of Syrians”.
June, 1, 2014
The coastal city of Tartus remains largely insulated from violence of the Syrian war, even during election time. This footage shows coffee shops and restaurants full at night time, two days before the Syrian presidential election. Included in the footage is a vox pop with a local resident discussing the upcoming election and the relative calm in the city.
Resident Vox Pop:
“Great atmosphere and positive feelings are all around Tartus. People here are very aware of their right and duty to participate in the election. It [the election] is an historical opportunity, and it is time, our vote means our existence”.
“The weather is nice, but it seems like it is going to rain, but good things are coming along with the election".