The Syrian government held some kind of election the other day (about something) that is supposed to do something significantly easy: provide cover to Assad's international allies. That would be Russia, China and Iran. Syria wants to allow them to say: Well, he's at least holding elections.
But of course Assad can hardly claim that he has the "consent of the governed." His legitimacy is through force. The recent Syrian election--which was actually about a new constitution--had no campaigning, pauses in the violence, or international monitoring. None of the characteristics of a "free and fair" election.
Rather, the streets of Homs looked like this: