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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decreed the formation of a new government, but top ministers kept their jobs.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to form a new government on Saturday, reported Agence France Presse, citing state television.
The move comes less than two months after the parliamentary elections which were boycotted by the Syrian opposition, noted the AFP.
The government is headed by a key loyalist, Riad Farid Hijab, a former agriculture minister and member of the Baath Party, according to the Associated Press. The foreign, defense and interior ministers all maintained their positions.
The AP noted that parliament in Syria is considered little more than a rubber stamp, where Assad and key advisers hold the reins.
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The parliamentary elections held in May had more than 7,000 candidates vying for 250 parliamentary seats as the Syrian government said it supported political reform, CNN reported.
However, the opposition called the elections a sham and urged supporters to boycott the elections held amid the uprising that has lasted for more than 15 months.
Two opposition figures from the Popular Front for Change and Liberation who are tolerated by the regime were given posts in the new government, said AFP.
Ali Haider was given the national reconciliation portfolio and Qadri Jamil was appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs and minister of domestic trade and consumer protection.
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Reuters reported that a volunteer with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was killed on Friday, according to a statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
According to the pro-opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 15,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the uprising, said CNN. The United Nations puts the number at around 10,000.
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