By Eno Adeogun
First Christian in decades elected to head Syria parliament
A Christian legislator has been elected as the speaker of parliament in Syria for the first time in decades.
Hammudeh Sabbagh, who is a 58-year-old Syriac Orthodox Christian and member of
President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party, won 193 votes out of 252.
He is a law graduate and from the Hasakah province in northeast Syria.
The last Christian to hold the post in the predominantly Muslim country was Fares el-Khoury who served multiple terms before and after the French mandate of 1920-1946.
Facing war, poverty and persecution, many Christians have left Syria since the civil broke began in 2011.
Unicef said the last year of the conflict has been worse for Syrian children than the other five, with 652 killed.
Officials estimates suggest upwards of 400,000 people have died.