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Syrian opposition coalition elects prime minister

Syrian opposition coalition elects prime minister
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Meeting in Istanbul, Syria’s opposition national council has elected a prime minister for the provisional interim government it has planned for rebel-held areas of the country.

50-year-old Ghassan Hitto is a naturalised american citizen who has lived in Texas for many years.

He won 35 votes from a total of 50, three more than his closest rival Asaad Mustafa, a former Syrian agriculture minister.

A large area of northern Syria have been seized by rebels over the two years of the conflict. But it is administered by a patchwork of local councils and armed groups. Basic services like water and electricity are in poor supply and its hoped appointing an interim administration will bring some coherence.

Mr Hitto is expected to apoint other ministers in the coming days. The opposition in Syria is fractured and the interrelationships complex. It is not clear whether all groups will back the new appointment.