A leader in the Syrian National Coalition said on Wednesday that there are four names suggested for the position of president of the Coalition, replacing Ahmed Jarba, whose second term ended at the beginning of July.
At the same time, the source did not rule out the possibility of last minute "surprises".
The leader, who requested anonymity, said that both the defected Prime Minister Riad Hijab, and Coalition's Political Commission members Hadi al-Bahra and Salem al-Mislit, and the member in the Coalition's Political Commission and the representative of the Coalition in the European Union, Muwafaq Neirabiyeh, are the most prominent names nominated for Coalition's presidential election scheduled to take place at the General Assembly meeting next week.
The leader pointed out that there is sharp disagreement within the Coalition about the names, pointing out that none of the four figures or others announced officially their intention to nominate for the election until 9:30pm.
The leader did not rule out the surprises may occur or thst unexpected figures may emerge last minute, and this cannot be known until opening the door of official nomination.
In a related development, the leader said that Hijab is the most favorable candidate, and there is a large segment within the Coalition supporting his candidacy, but Hijab has decided not to contest the election unless there was a consensus on his name.
He added that "Hijab has leadership qualifications, he has got the experience and managerial efficiency when he was an official in the regime before defection, and in the ranks of the revolution as well, but he decided not to engage in a race dominated by skepticism and debates that sometimes reach an unethical level".
Hijab, 48, had occupied several important positions in the Syrian regime, holding prominent positions in the ruling Baath Party. He also served as a governor in a number of Syrian provinces, before being appointed the minister of agriculture, then as a prime minister in 2012, before defecting after two months and fleeing with his family to Jordan to join the revolution.
Menaehil, the leader pointed out that the extension of the presidency term of the Coalition to one year instead of six months will be discussed during the next General Assembly meeting, pointing out that this proposal would apply to the period after the mandate of Jarba.
The General Commission of the Coalition had re-elected Jarba for a second term of six months earlier this year, and Hijab who ran for the presidency of the Coalition won 52 votes while Jarba won 65.
The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was established in Doha, Qatar, in November 2012, to be the umbrella bulk of the Syrian opposition and its primary representative in international conferences and events. The Coalition was recognized by many Arab countries as a "legitimate representative of the Syrian people", and a number of countries, such as America, Britain and France have recently decided to considered its representatives as "representatives of diplomatic missions".
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer