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Syria’s Assad asks PM Arnous in presidential decree to form new cabinet

Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous (Photo by AFP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has tasked Prime Minister Hussein Arnous with forming a new government, more than two months after a presidential election, which the 55-year-old leader won with 95.1% of the votes.

Assad asked former water resources minister in a presidential decree to move quickly and form a new government, Syria’s official news agency reported on Sunday.

Assad named Arnous as prime minister in June last year to replace Imad Khamis. The president took the oath last month for a fourth term in office after last May’s election.

The Syrian parliament announced on May 27 that President Assad had won a fourth seven-year term in the presidential race.

Hamoudeh Sabbagh, the parliament speaker, said Assad won 95.1 percent of the vote as opposed to 88.7 percent in the 2014 election.

He said about 14 million of the estimated 18 million eligible voters inside and outside Syria had cast their ballots, with a turnout rate of 78.64 percent.

Assad's competitors, former deputy cabinet minister Abdallah Saloum Abdallah and head of a Syrian opposition party, Mahmoud Ahmed Marei, won 3.3 percent and 1.5 percent of the vote respectively.

Political commentator Vanessa Beeley told Press TV in an exclusive interview at the time that the results of the presidential election in Syria clearly showed the determined public resistance in the face of an all-out onslaught being waged by imperialist powers.

She said the most significant aspect of Syria’s polls is that “the elections were held in spite of wholesale condemnation by the United States and the United Kingdom."

The London-based journalist said the disdainful remarks “were largely ignored by Syrian people, who defended their self-determination and their constitution by heading to polling stations across liberated areas in millions.”

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