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Istanbul: National Coalition chooses head of government

KURDWATCH, March 30, 2013—On March 19, 2013, the National Coalition in Istanbul elected Ghassan Hittu (b. 1963 in Damascus) the first head of government of the Syrian Opposition. Against expectations, Hittu was elected by simple majority. Thirty-five of the fifty-three delegates present voted for him, including the contingent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Nine delegates left the session in protest, as they had anticipated an appointment by common accord. In the coming weeks, a government based in the liberated regions of Northern Syria is to be formed. Hittu has been active against the regime since the beginning of the Syrian revolution two years ago. He is of Kurdish origin, but thus far has neither taken an active stand on the Kurdish question nor publically stated his opinion on the matter. Before his election, he was little-known within oppositional circles.

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