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Syrian National Coalition to discuss extending president’s term: source - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Syrian National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba speaks during a press conference following a meeting with French President at the Elysée palace in Paris on May 20, 2014.  (AFP/Bertrand Guay)

Syrian National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba speaks during a press conference following a meeting with French President at the Elysée palace in Paris on May 20, 2014. (AFP/Bertrand Guay)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Syrian National Coalition is considering extending President Ahmed Al-Jarba’s term, according to opposition sources who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat.

The change would see the Coalition president’s term changed from a fixed six-month period to one-year renewable mandates through an amendment to the opposition group’s procedural rules.

Coalition member Hisham Marwa told Asharq Al-Awsat the proposed amendment to the procedural rules was highly controversial, with many Coalition members opposing the proposed change.

But the amendment “does not necessarily mean that there will be an extension for Jarba whose term as the president ended” earlier this week, Marwa said. “Jarba has repeatedly emphasized that he does not wish to renew his term.”

But Jarba could still play a role in the Coalition even though his term as president has ended. “He will have an active role through his right to participate and express opinions” in the coalition’s meetings, Marwa said.

The Coalition’s general authority is to meet on Sunday to consider the proposed changes, after a meeting scheduled for Friday was postponed for “logistical reasons,” Marwa asid.

On that meeting’s agenda are several key items, including the election of Jarba’s successor and a new political authority, and possibly a motion of no confidence in Coalition prime minister Ahmad Tu’mah.

Earlier this week, the Tu’mah-led Syrian opposition government took a unilateral decision to dissolve the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the coalition’s military wing. That decision may lead to Tu’mah facing a no confidence vote in Sunday’s meeting.

Such a no-confidence vote requires two-thirds of the total votes of the coalition, or 80 members out of the total 120.