10 Nov 2012

Founding member of Syrian opposition quits

5:03 pm on 10 November 2012

A founder of the Syrian National Council has resigned, saying the opposition group had failed to reform.

Businessman Adib al-Shishakly, grandson of a late Syrian president, said the main overseas opposition in the 20-month-old Syrian uprising has failed to become an institution.

He said a newly elected 41-member general assembly was dominated by Islamists.

An SNC source said two other members have also resigned over the absence of women from senior positions on the council, Reuters reports.

Mr al-Shishakly's resignation was announced at a meeting in Qatar where restructuring was supposed to take place.

The SNC has elected veteran opposition figure George Sabra, a Christian, as its head during the Doha meeting.

The organisation will start talks on Saturday with other factions, including representatives of rebel groups inside Syria, on forming a new Western-backed wider body that hopes to gain international recognition and set up a government-in-waiting.