Syria: Concern over lack of Christian representation on Aleppo council

Abdulahad Astepho, a member of the Syrian National Council and head of the Syriac Assyrians within the council, expressed appreciation for holding elections for the local council of Aleppo, describing it as “a democratic step”, but criticised the lack of Christian representation in the council.

“The Syrian opposition represented by the National Coalition and the Syrian National Council has succeeded in holding democratic elections for the local council in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city,” Astepho told AKI Italian news agency.

“Through this council, civil affairs will be organised and managed in the liberated areas of the province at an institutional level instead of activists managing at the individual level as a prelude to the resumption of political and civic life after the fall of the regime,” he continued.

Astepho criticized the lack of representation of Christians and women in the council.

“The lack of Christian and women representation in the local council of Aleppo angered people. As is well known, the Christian presence in the province is historic and authentic, and Christians make up 10% of the population of the province, so a lack of their representation in the council constitutes a shortage and weakness in its structure.”

“There is a large number of Christians in the province who have advocated and engaged in the revolution of the Syrian people, and since its inception, most of them have joined national opposition parties, in addition to many activists in organizations, relief committees and associations,” Astepho continued.