A woman casts her ballot at a voting station in the Syrian capital, Damascus on July 19, 2020 during the parliamentary elections. — AFP/VNA Photo
BEIRUT — Syria's ruling Baath party and its allies have won a majority in parliamentary elections held across government-held areas of the war-torn country, results announced on Tuesday showed.
In a widely expected victory in a vote labelled a "farce" by the exiled opposition, President Bashar al-Assad's party and allied candidates on the "National Unity" list took 177 seats out of 250 in Sunday's polls.
Turnout stood at 33 per cent, down from 57 per cent in 2016, electoral commission head Samer Zamreeq said.
The election comes after the Damascus government reconquered much of the territory lost at the beginning of the country's war, but as it battles international sanctions and a crumbling economy.
Among the winners, Hussam Qatirji, a businessman under sanctions from the European Union, retained his seat.
More than 7,000 polling stations opened across government-held parts of Syria on Sunday, state media said, including for the first time in former opposition strongholds.
But millions of Syrians who have fled the conflict were not eligible to vote.
After nine years of war that have killed 380,000 people and forced half the pre-war population from their homes, activists and the political opposition in exile have derided the elections and its results. — AFP