Syrian president forms new government

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[June 23, 2012]  BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's state news agency says President Bashar Assad has formed a new government headed by a loyalist member of his Baath Party.

Assad had promised after the May 7 parliamentary elections to make the government more inclusive to politicians from other parties. But the appointment as prime minister of Baathist Riad Farid Hijab, a former agriculture minister, raised questions about his commitment to that pledge

There was no change on Saturday in the key posts at the foreign, defense and interior ministries.

The opposition boycotted the parliamentary elections. Parliament is considered little more than a rubber stamp in Syria, where the president and a tight coterie of advisers hold the real power.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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