Syrian stalemate fuelled by opposition’s bitter infighting

Hassan Hassan writes: The Syrian political opposition, in its current form, is a hopeless case. Members of the opposition have been holding intensive talks to expand the National Coalition for nearly a week, with little progress.

The meetings in Istanbul are meant to discuss the inclusion of more members, mostly moderates, in the coalition to make it a more representative and balanced political body. As it stands now, the political body is controlled by one group that has a tenacious monopoly over the decision-making process.

On Monday, the coalition’s general assembly announced that eight new members have been added, after they won 42 votes from existing members. But the coalition has deep structural issues that render the inclusion of new members almost meaningless.

The principle sticking point involves voting. Existing members of the coalition insist that the inclusion of new members must be based on balloting by existing members only. But this would change little in a monopoly that was made possible by interference from regional countries to begin with, rather than based on consensus among Syrian opposition. The existing members were not chosen by the people to decide whether certain opposition figures should be members or not. [Continue reading…]

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