The embattled Syrian president has tasked one of his ministers to form a new government. It was not clear why the current prime minister is being replaced.
In a surprise move, President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday appointed former Electricity Minister Emad Khamis to form a new cabinet, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.
Khamis is set to replace current Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki, although no details were given in the report as to why the change was happening. The 54-year-old al-Halaki had held the post since August 2012.
The announcement comes two months after Assad’s Baath party and its allies won the majority of seats in the country’s parliament in an election that was decried internationally as a fraud.
The EU imposed sanctions against Khamis in March 2012, accusing the former electrical engineer of sharing culpability for violence committed against Syria’s population.
A year after the outbreak of the war in 2011, Assad formed a new government under Prime Minister Riad Hijab, only for Hijab to flee soon afterwards to join the opposition.
blc/kl (Reuters, AFP)