DAMASCUS, Syria – Polls opened in government-held areas in Syria amid very tight security Tuesday for the country's presidential election -- a vote that President Bashar Assad is widely expected to win.
The balloting comes amid a devastating, three-year civil war that activists say has killed more than 160,000 people, about a third of whom were civilians.
It's also Syria's first multi-candidate election in more than 40 years.
The Syrian opposition and government critics have denounced the vote as a sham. Syria's two main internal opposition groups are boycotting the vote while many activists around the country refer to it as "blood elections."
The balloting is taking place only in areas under government control as much of northern and eastern Syria is in rebel hands.
Assad, who is running for a third seven-year term, faces two government-approved challengers in the race, Maher Hajjar and Hassan al-Nouri, both of whom were little known in Syria before declaring their candidacy for the country's top post in April.
More at: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/06/03/polls-open-in-syria-presidential-election/