Bashar al-Assad sworn in as Syrian President for fourth term

Assad said the focus of the next phase will be on increasing production, which is the key to improving livelihood amid the tough economic hardship in Syria

Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been sworn in for a fourth seven-year term, after which he emphasised on the importance of production, investment, and anti-corruption given the tough economic situation in the country.

Speaking during his inauguration ceremony on Saturday, Assad said the focus of the next phase will be on increasing production, which is the key to improving livelihood amid the tough economic hardship in Syria, reports Xinhua news agency.

Currently, 3,000 production factories are being built in Syria, according to the President.

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The sanctions and siege could not entirely close the doors of investment, especially in the field of “profitable” renewable energy, Assad noted.

The reason for investing in renewable energy is to resolve the electricity problem, “which is a priority for all because of its vitality not just to our daily life but to different investments”, he explained.

The Syrian leader also vowed to expand the fighting against corruption using new means to expose the corrupted.

Assad, 55, delivered his inauguration speech at the presidential palace in the capital Damascus, in a live broadcast by the state-run television.

Assad garnered 95.1 per cent of votes in the recent presidential election.

About 14 million of an estimated 18 million eligible voters inside and outside Syria cast their votes, with a turnout rate of over 78 per cent.

Assad’s victory was largely anticipated as his rivals in the race were a low-profile opposition figure and a former cabinet minister.

On July 17, 2000, Assad succeeded his father Hafez al-Assad as the Syrian president.

Under the current Syrian constitution adopted in 2012, the President has the right to run for office twice, which means this would be Assad’s last term in office.

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