Monday, December 3, 2007

Syrian opposition elects new leaders

 Reform Party of Syria
  Freedom - Democracy - Peace News
Damascus Declaration Elects New Leadership
Washington DC - December 4, 2007/RPS News/ -- In spite of excessive oppressive measures by the Syrian authorities, one hundred and sixty-eight members of the Syrian opposition united under the Damascus Declaration met on Sunday to choose a woman named Fida'a al-Hourani, oldest daughter to the now deceased political leader Akram al-Hourani, as president of the newly formed National Council (NC). Of the 168 Damascus Declaration representatives present, 17 were chosen in what was dubbed as the Leadership Council of which five were chosen to handle the day-to-day operations of the NC.
The five members chosen are: Fidaa al-Hourani, President and spokesman, Akram al-Bouni, brother to prisoner of conscience Anwar al-Bouni, Abdul-Hamid Darwich, Secretary General of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party, Riad al-Seif, ex-parliamentarian, and Riad al-Turk, labeled as the Mandella of the Syrian opposition. The biggest losers were Hassan Abdul Azim, a Syrian whose close relationships with the Syrian intelligence has been a cause of concern to the Damascus Declaration representatives, and his two deputes Raja Nasser and Abdul Hamid Manjouneh both closely associated with the pan-Arabist and the Nasserite movements inside Syria. 
These new elections by the National Council for the Damascus Declaration (NCDD) is infusing some new blood and setting a new direction, which is closely connected with liberalism and moderate Muslims. The fact that a woman was chosen as President was well received within the Syrian opposition circles because it sends a very clear signal that the policies of the Muslim Brotherhood are not acceptable to a Syria whose secularism within the rank-and-file of the opposition is much more prevalent than some political analysts give the Syrians credit for.
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