U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the presidential election in Syria:
“The presidential election in Syria is a shameful mockery of democracy and an insult to peaceful nations across the globe. Though intended to bestow seven more years of power on Bashar al-Assad, he has no legitimate claim to power and he is nothing more than a dictator.
“Because of Assad’s willingness to kill, torture, gas, and starve his own people, the Syrian people have suffered through three-plus years of civil war; an estimated 150,000 deaths; the displacement of more than 2.8 million refugees; and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. It goes without saying that this election has no credibility. The election will not be monitored by any serious international presence and is a complete sham.
“Unsurprisingly, Russia and Iran have expressed support for these bankrupt elections, while propping up the Assad regime as Syria disintegrates and becomes a magnet for terrorism and sectarianism.
“Bashar al-Assad needs to realize that he cannot hide behind a bogus election. He must be held accountable for the crimes he has committed against his own people. Along with like-minded international stakeholders, we must work together in supporting the moderate Syrian opposition and creating conditions for a negotiated political transition in Syria. Only then will the Syrian people have a genuine voice in their own future, free from dictatorship and terror.”