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Assad Says Syrian Election Shows Public Support for Reforms

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a Russian state news channel that the public in the country support his reform plans.

Parliamentary elections on May 7 showed the support of the country’s citizens for the government’s program, Assad said in an interview broadcast on state-run Rossiya 24 television today.

Assad’s security forces are trying to crush a 14-month-old rebellion against his rule. A United Nations cease-fire plan has failed to curb the violence. Syrian security forces killed 21 people today, Al Arabiya reported.

Fifty-one percent of Syrian voters took part in the election, Khalaf al-Ezzawi, head of the elections panel, told a news conference on state television yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Abelsky in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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