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Syrian opposition criticises new government formation

Posted on Aug 28 2014 | IANS

Damascus, Aug 28 : The Syrian opposition Thursday criticised the formation of the new government as "bringing nothing new".

Anas Joudeh, deputy head of the Building Syria State party, told Xinhua that there was no notable change in the new government as all of the major ministries have kept their ministers with slight changes in the ministers of "service" ministries.

On Wednesday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to form a new government under incumbent Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, keeping 19 ministers of major ministries, including Minister of Defence Fahed Jassem, Minister of Foreign Affairs Walid al-Moallem and Minister of Interior Mohammad Sha'ar, and changing 15 ministers, the majority of whom are state ministers.

Assad has added a new ministry of administrative development and entrusted it with Hassan Nouri, who ran against Assad in the recent presidential elections.

"By this formation, the regime stresses that it is still thinking unilaterally and this government is isolated from the real demands of people," Joudeh said, contending that the current government "has failed in running the country and the solution should be about changing it".

Joudeh pointed out that the conduct of some ministers, who have kept their posts in the new government, was not up to the challenges of the current stage in Syria.

He said that under Minister of Defence Fahed Jassem, the Syrian army lost many key positions in the northern al-Raqqa province, most recently the al-Tabaqqa airbase and the Brigade 93.

He also criticised the government's handling of the electricity problems in Syria, holding Minister of Electricity Emad Khamis responsible.

For his part, Maher Murhej, the head of the oppositional Youth Party, criticised Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi for not consulting the political forces and opposition parties inside Syria, deeming this action as "excluding the other party even if it was the opposition".

Murhej accused al-Halqi of failing to heed the real opinion of the Syrian people regarding the conduct of the Syrian government.

Assad won a third term in the latest presidential elections and was sworn in July 16.

The current constitution stipulates the formation of a new government with every new term of the president.

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