The Syrian National Council opposition group re-elected liberal politician Burhan Ghalioun as president at a meeting in Rome on Tuesday for another three-month term, sources at the meeting told Reuters.
Ghalioun, a secular academic, has been leader of the opposition in exile since the SNC's creation in August 2011. Some fellow activists have criticized him for being out of touch with the opposition inside Syria and for failing to unify the SNC.
But the 67-year-old sociologist has the backing of the Gulf states and France, and is seen as a consensus figure in the group, where Islamists, who are divided into different factions, hold sway. Aware that he is an acceptable figure to the international community, the Islamists have supported him.George Sabra, another liberal who is an ally of Syria's top dissident Riad al-Turk, came second, the sources said.