March 19 - Western-educated former businessman Ghasssan Hitto is chosen by the opposition Syrian National Coalition as provisional prime minister at a meeting in Istanbul. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) The opposition Syrian National Coalition chose Western-educated former businessman Ghasssan Hitto as provisional prime minister in a vote on Tuesday (March 19) at a meeting in Istanbul. "So according to the bylaws, the constitution of the coalition, the national coalition for Syrian opposition, Mr. Hitto is the new prime minister of the temporary government," announced Ahmad Marwan, a member of the Syrian opposition. Hitto thanked the coalition, and said he would outline plans for the future. "I want to thank you very much. Tomorrow there will be a speech and you will hear through the speech the program and an introduction of the highlights of the plan for the near future. So I'll see you tomorrow," Hitto said. Hitto, who according to a Reuters witness received 35 votes of around 50 cast by coalition members, will be in charge of forming a government to fill a power vacuum in Syria arising from a two-year-long revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.