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Assad maintains hold on Syria

Bashar Assad was sworn in for a second seven-year term as Syria’s president.
Assad was re-elected with 98 percent of the vote in a May referendum in which he was the only candidate. Observers and critics alike called the election a sham. Assad came to power in 2000 after the death of his father, Hafez Assad.

Also Tuesday, Assad described U.S. President George W. Bush’s Middle East peace proposal as “just words.”