Rival blocs within the Syrian National Coalition have issued contradictory statements about the results of the elections of the interim ministers which took place on Sunday night.
While supporters of Coalition President Hadi al-Bahra say that the election session was illegal and therefore the results are baseless, his opponents say that they have elected 12 ministers for the 12 portfolios in the Interim Government.
Anwar Badr, a leading member of the bloc that opposes Bahra, told The Syrian Observer that the session which was held on Saturday and Sunday was legal as more than 60 members attended.
The Coalition by-laws, Badr says, stipulate that the quorum for the sessions to be considered as legal is 50% +1 of the general assembly members. This was ensured in the meeting on Sunday.
“The Coalition Legal Committee,” Badr added, “decided that, and the committee chairman Haitham al-Maleh headed the session in the absence of Bahra or any of his three deputies.”
However, the Coalition Legal Advisor Mohamad Sabra said the meeting results were illegal.
He told The Syrian Observer that the Coalition by-laws state that the winner must win an absolute majority, which is 50 percent plus one of the total number of the General Assembly, and not of the quorum.
Sabra added that another provision states that if a third of the government ministers fail to get 50 percent plus one of the votes, the entire government is considered resigned and the Coalition has to choose a new prime minister.
As such, the government of Ahmed Toumeh is considered as having resigned, as it has failed to win the confidence vote of the Coalition members, with five ministers failing to reach the quorum of a 56-vote to win.
Anwar Badr accused the other bloc of wanting to destroy the Coalition.
“This is a precedent that has never happened anywhere," he said, explaining that "a parliament speaker absented himself from a meeting in order to make it fail,” Badr told The Syrian Observer.
Faiz Sara, a leading member of the Democratic Bloc and a former advisor to the Coalition President said that the other group "looted the quorum".
"We were there,” he told The Syrian Observer, “but they did not want to play by the rules."
He added that five major groups did not attend the session, including the Democratic Bloc, the National Current, The Kurdish Bloc, Wifaq Bloc, and independents including the president and his deputies.
Bahra issued a statement last night abolishing the elections which had taken place just hours earlier.
The statement, signed by Bahra and two of his three deputies, stated that due to the appeals that came against the results, which “have been neglected, I decide the following: transferring the appeals to an independent committee of experts, and abolishing all the decisions made by some of the Coalition members."
Bahra also called for another meeting on December 3, 2014.
Twelve ministers were elected in the meeting, including Ghassan Hitto as Deputy Prime Minister, Salim Idriss as Minster of Defense, Awad Ahmed al-Ali as Minister of Interior, and Ibrahim Miro as Minister of Finance.
The head of the legal committee at the Coalition wrote on his page on Facebook that the president cannot behave like other members, as they are considered as the president of all members no matter what opinion they hold or group they are affiliated with.
Maleh described what happned in the last meeting as “a farce, which indicates a lack of responsibility."
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer