Bashar Assad pocketed 95.1pc (!) of the votes in Syria’s president election which his opponents and the West branded as marred by fraud. More than 14 million Syrians took part although more than half of the population were driven out of their homes by the brutal 11-year civil war. Assad. 55, has won seven more years in power. He took office in 2000 when his father Hafez al-Assad died after 30 years as ruler.