Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad media advisor has blasted persisting Western efforts to undermine the nation’s recent presidential election, insisting that Syrian election process does not need Western endorsement its legitimacy since Syrian people are the only source of legitimacy for the balloting.
“We are not really waiting for legitimacy from the West,” Bouthaina Shaaban said during a Saturday interview with RT, accusing certain Western and Arab government of targeting Syria, arming and financing the brutal opposition in a 3-year-long insurgency war.
“The Syrian people not only voted for President Assad, I think they voted for Syria. They voted against foreign intervention,” Shaaban added.
She further pointed out that Assad’s landslide victory in the Tuesday presidential poll is a clear indication that even a war-torn nation has the right to decide its own destiny, as nearly 11 million out of the 15 million eligible voters showed up at the polls.
Meanwhile, as Syrians reported to the polls in large numbers on Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf claimed in Washington that the vote as “a disgrace,” alleging that President Assad “has no more credibility today that he did yesterday.”
Reacting to Western, and especially American, criticism of Syria’s election, Shaaban again reiterated that the US does not set the global legitimacy standards.
“I would like to say to all Western officials who say they will not acknowledge it – gone are days when legitimacy was derived from the West. The West has no right to give our people legitimacy. It is the Syrian people who make this election legitimate. It’s neither William Hague, nor the US, nor France.”
Syrians, said Shaaban, don’t care what West thinks what because citizens are certain “that Western countries only target us, only want to destroy our country.”
She added that the elections were legitimate and even in war-torn regions of the country people managed to vote.
“When we studied the country, most of the population are in areas where they can vote,” Shaaban emphasized. “We are not talking about geographical space. We are talking about people… People are mobile, they are not buildings that you can’t move from one place to the other. And therefore Syrian people voted and said their vote.”
Moreover, Shaaban says President Assad did everything in his power to ensure that other contenders in the 7-year-term presidential race received maximum public exposure to allow a democratic choice in the country.
“Since the nomination of the three candidates, president Assad decided not to give any interviews to any media, not to give any speeches, not to make any public appearances in order to give space to two candidates so they can give the interviews, they can talk to people, so they get more known. I think President Assad did his best to elevate the chances of the other two candidates.”
As far as the fate of post-election Syria, Shaaban says that everyone “wants to restore peace and security” and to rebuild the country. The focus will also be on reconciliation.
“They want to build their country. And they want to do reconciliation, Syrian – Syrian reconciliation.”