General Election 2014 Current Affairs - 2020

Bashar al-Assad retains Presidency of Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been elected for a 3rd term in office. He won the recently held presidential polls by securing around 88% votes.  President Assad’s rivals- Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, got 4.3% and 3.2% of the vote respectively.

Earlier, the Supreme Constitutional Court had announced that some 11.63 million Syrians voted out of a total of 15.85 million eligible voters. Voting was held in government-controlled areas, but not in parts of the north and east under seize by rebels.

The Syrian government is battling with a long running civil war waged by rebels. The victory is likely to boost Assad’s supporters. Over the past year, the government has made major military gains and rebel groups have fought among themselves. Thousands of people have died in three years of civil war in Syria, with millions more dislocated.

Sushma Swaraj -The first woman to head MEA

In yet another first for BJP leader Sushma Swaraj (62), she has become the first woman External Affairs Minister of India. She is the country’s first woman to be appointed as a full-time Cabinet minister with the external affairs portfolio. Indira Gandhi too held the portfolio between September 1967 and February 1969 and again between July and October 1984, but it was among the portfolios she retained with her as Prime Minister.

Sushma Swaraj has several other first to her name:

  1. At the age of 25, she became the youngest cabinet minister in Haryana government in 1977.
  2. First woman Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998.
  3. She was the first woman spokesperson for any political party in India and won the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award.