Ahmad Jarba re-elected to head Syrian opposition National Coalition
Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba was re-elected to on Sunday in Istanbul to continue serving as the president of the main opposition National Coalition, according to Agence France-Presse.
The leader beat his only rival, Riad Hijab, who is "the best-known defector" from President Bashar Al Assad's regime, by a mere 13 votes.
Jarba was first elected to lead the coalition in July, and with his recent win, he will continue to serve in this role for the next six months.
The re-elected leader is considered to be "close" with Saudi Arabia, one of the opposition's main supporters.
The Coalition also elected three vice-presidents on Sunday: Noura Al-Amir, Abdel Hakim Bashar and Faruq Tayfur.
As the Jan. 22 peace conference approaches, the coalition still has more business to take care of: deciding whether or not to attend the talks altogether. The coalition will discuss whether or not they will participate Monday.
Other opposition groups, however, have already decided to boycott the conference, including the key Syrian National Council bloc. Like the Council, Jarba allegedly is not interested in attending the peace talks in Switzerland as well. According to one council member Samir Nashar, "Ahmad Jarba does not want to go to Geneva."
Jarba, who was born in Qamishli on the border with Turkey in 1969, is a Sunni Muslim who has tried to encourage Arab and Western countries to arm rebel groups. He has been described as a "subdued" leader and many rebel groups on the ground "feel the Coalition has failed to represent them" based on the Coalition's large presence outside of Syria's borders.
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