17:25 GMT21 June 2021
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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Incumbent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma Assad voted in the presidential election taking place across the country on Wednesday, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    Over 12,000 polling stations opened at 7:00 a.m. [04:00 GMT] and will close at 7:00 p.m., although the authorities said the closing hour may be moved to midnight should the need arise.

    The list of candidates includes three names — Mahmoud Ahmad Marei, leader of the opposition group National Democratic Front, former Socialist lawmaker Abdallah Saloum Abdallah, and Assad himself, who has been the head of the Syrian state since 2000.

    Assad gathered 88 percent of the vote during the last election in 2014. Today's vote is the second time Syrians are casting their ballots since the onset of a civil war that has been ravaging the country since 2011.

    election, president, Syria
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