Press release

Foreign Secretary responds to Syrian election result

Foreign Secretary underlines Assad’s lack of legitimacy after election that was an insult to Syrians calling for real political change.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague

Responding to news that the regime had announced that Assad had been re-elected as Syrian president, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

Assad lacked legitimacy before this election, and he lacks it afterwards. This election bore no relation to genuine democracy. It was held in the midst of civil war with millions disenfranchised, denied access to basic humanitarian aid, and with all opposition to Assad brutally suppressed. Holding an election in such circumstances is just a way of sustaining his dictatorship, and is an insult to the Syrians who have been calling for freedom and real political change.

Assad has no plan for peace, stability or reconstruction in Syria. His only formula is the killing and starvation of his own people, the destruction of whole cities and the displacement of millions. He is pushing Syria towards greater fragmentation and further misery. There is a clear route for Assad to end the conflict in Syria, he must engage with the UN sponsored Geneva process which calls for a transitional governing body established with the mutual consent of both sides.

The UK is increasing its support to those seeking a genuine political settlement in Syria, including by backing the moderate opposition and their vision for Syria of true democracy, pluralism and respect for human rights.

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Published 5 June 2014