Bloomberg Businessweek quotes Rafik Hariri Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on the likelihood of an election victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:
Opponents say running for re-election would destroy any chance of a political settlement at Geneva peace talks and prolong violence that has killed at least 150,000 people and displaced another 9 million. Though a date for the election hasn’t been officially announced, there’s every indication he will defy international demands for him to depart, underscoring the impotence of the U.S. and European allies in trying to bring an end to three years of bloodshed.
“For those who need confirmation that the Assad regime is not interested in the Geneva negotiating process this would be it,” said Frederic Hof, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East in Washington. He predicted another win for Assad in “the high 90s.”