Syrian opposition elects moderate Islamist Ahmad Tumeh as PM
ISTANBUL - Reuters
(Back, from L-R) Member of the General Secretariat of the Syrian National Council Mohammad Farouk Tayfour, General Secretary of the Syrian National Council Bader Jamous, chief of the Syrian National Council (SNC) Ahmad Jarba (C), and member of the coalition Monzer Akbik attend a meeting of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition forces on Sept. 13 in Istanbul. AFP photoThe opposition Syrian National Coalition elected moderate Islamist Ahmad Tumeh as provisional prime minister on Sept. 14, entrusting him with the difficult task of restoring order to areas no longer controlled by President Bashar al-Assad, coalition members told Reuters.
The coalition hopes that 48-year-old Tumeh will boost the opposition's credibility as Russia and the United States negotiated a deal over Assad's chemical weapons arsenal that could lead to efforts towards a wider settlement of the two-and-a-half year conflict.
Tumeh, a former political prisoner from the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, got 75 votes out of 97 cast in a coalition ballot in Istanbul, the sources said.
He is expected to choose a cabinet of 13 ministers in a deal reached after two days of talks between power brokers in the Arab and Western-backed coalition.
"The priority of my government will be to restore stability in the liberated areas, improve their living conditions and provide security," Tumeh told Reuters after he was elected.