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Syria’s election holds few surprises after years of war

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By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) – Campaign posters for Bashar al-Assad line the streets of Damascus, alongside those for two obscure rivals, but no one really doubts that Wednesday’s election will extend his presidency despite 10 years of war that has left Syria in ruins. Ruled by his family for five decades, Syria is now barely recognisable from the nation that Assad, now 55, took over in 2000 after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad. When he began, the young eye doctor, who was belatedly groomed for office after his elder brother died in a car accident, promised a shift from his …

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