Middle East

Bahra set to succeed Jarba as SNC president

File - Leader of the Western and Saudi-backed Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba waits for a meeting with the US Secretary of State on June 27, 2014 at King Abdulaziz International Airport in the Saudi city of Jeddah. AFP PHOTO / POOL / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

BEIRUT: Hadi al-Bahra is set to become the new head of Syria’s opposition-in-exile group the National Coalition, political sources said Monday.

The sources said that Bahra looked likely to succeed Ahmad Jarba during Tuesday’s vote, on the third and final day of meetings of the Coalition in Istanbul.

The sources said that Jarba, after serving the maximum of two six-month terms, would likely give way to a figure who is close to him, after the failure of attempts to arrive at a compromise candidate.

However, the election has now been pushed back to Tuesday, in what the sources said was a last-minute bid to continue the process of agreeing on a compromise figure.

The sources said that while the Muslim Brotherhood, which enjoys significant clout in the opposition group, would not be happy with the election of Bahra, its stance would depend on the results of agreements to fill other key leadership positions.

Coalition members were expected to begin the election process Monday, but a statement by the group said they spent the day discussing amendments to the Coalition’s by-laws.

Bahra headed the Coalition’s negotiating team during a round of peace negotiations earlier this year, when the “Geneva 2” session failed to make headway between representatives of the regime and the opposition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 08, 2014, on page 8.




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