Syria’s opposition SNC to reform, expand
The Syrian National Council, an umbrella organization bringing together a diverse group of opponents to the Assad government both inside and outside Syria, has announced that it is to expand and become more representative.
The SNC has agreed to include more groups who oppose the rule of President Bashar-al Assad, spokesman George Sabra said on Sunday.
The move follows criticism from both within and outside the organization that it is failing in its task to unite the opposition against Assad.
At a Saturday meeting in Stockholm, the SNC agreed to expand its membership by 300 to 400 members.
“New currents of the opposition will join the SNC. There will be at least five or six new groups from inside and outside Syria,” Sabra said.
Each opposition group will be represented by 20 members, and the assembly will elect a general secretariat who will in turn choose an executive bureau, and the SNC’s leader.
However, there were no plans for the SNC to include the National Coordination for Democratic Change, which supports the non-violent overthrow of the Assad regime and opposes foreign military intervention.
The SNC has faced frequent accusations of failing to fully represent Syria’s fragmented opposition.
The organization was formed in August 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, where it is based. It is supported by the group of nations calling itself the Friends of Syria (the US, UK and France among them), and is recognized by a number of Western powers as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.