Syria opposition elects new leaders
DOHA - Agence France-Press
Syrian National Council (SNC) chief Abdel Basset Sayda (L) speaks with Syrian regime opponent Salem al-Malt (R) during the General Assembly of the SNC meeting in Doha on November 6, 2012, AFP photo
The main opposition Syrian National Council, under pressure to unite and bring in all parties, has elected a new leadership with Islamists heavily represented, SNC officials said on Thursday.
They said a president of the opposition coalition would be chosen on Friday, after the 40-member general secretariat was elected overnight at a meeting in the Qatari capital.
The secretariat is tasked with electing 11 members to appoint a successor to outgoing president Abdel Basset Sayda.
The process has been delayed until Friday to allow four members representing women and minorities to be added to the secretariat ahead of the vote, the officials said.
Sayda remains a secretariat member but other prominent figures such as Burhan Ghalioun, George Sabra and Riad Seif do not figure in the new list, effectively ruling them out as SNC president.
Some 400 SNC members voted from 29 lists of groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ranging from liberals to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as ethnic minorities and tribes.