Opposition appoints new leader for interim government
September 15, 2013
PROMOTING CREDIBILITY: Syrian National Coalition (SNC) members voted on Saturday for moderate Islamist Ahmad Tu’mah as interim prime minister. Tu’mah, 48, a dentist from Deir e-Zor in the north, won 75 out of 97 votes to become the second prime minister of the interim government following the resignation in July of Ghassan Hitto.
“We will implement a strategic plan to move the country forward to a new phase and will work on the ground to support the efforts of the Supreme Military Council in organizing and developing military institutions,” said Tu’mah during a speech to National Coalition members Saturday.
Tu’mah graduated from the school of dentistry at Damascus University and spent most of his career in Deir e-Zor except for a five-year stint in Saudi Arabia. Tu’mah was one of the founders and leaders of the Damascus Declaration, an organization of Syrian opponents to the regime. In 2007, he was arrested and spent 30 months in jail with 12 of his fellow Damascus Declaration regime opponents. After the outbreak of the Syrian uprising in 2011, he was repeatedly arrested before being forced to leave Syria earlier this year.
With Tu’mah appointment, the opposition hopes to reinforce the credibility of Syrian National Coalition among Syrians inside the country as well as the diaspora just as US-Russian talks continue over what to do about Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. Video Courtesy of SNC