George Sabra currently residing in Turkey said his election showed that the SNC was not sectarian, and he appealed for more weapons to help overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, according to the BBC.
Farouq Tayfour, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected his vice president.
The SNC’s 41-member general secretariat, itself newly elected, chose Sabra, who garnered 28 votes, as part of efforts to revamp the group working to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Earlier on Friday, the umbrella group elected 11 members to sit on its executive committee. The executive committee members included Abdel baeset Sayda, the SNC’s former head.
The SNC is set to start talks on Saturday with other Syrian factions including representatives of rebel groups inside Syria on forming a new, wider body that hopes to gain international recognition as a transitional government, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week called the SNC unrepresentative of opposition forces on the ground.
However, the Syrian National Council, vying to keep its leading role and under US pressure to unify, on Friday called for a delay to a decision on bringing together all groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
However, a major activist network, the Local Coordination Committees quit the bloc accusing SNC of being unable to adopt a “serious ad effective reform plan” .
“Several attempts have been made by the Local Coordination Committees in Syria to push the Syrian National Council and its leadership to adopt a serious and effective general reform plan so that the SNC can assume its role as a political representative of the great people of Syria,” the Local Coordination Committees said in a statement.
“Therefore, the Local Coordination Committees hereby declares its withdrawal from the Syrian National Council.”