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Somalia inaugurates new parliament

Xinhua | Updated: 2012-08-21 07:10

Somalia inaugurates new parliament

New Somali parliamentarians pray during an inauguration ceremony for members of Somalia's first parliament in 20 years in Mogadishu August 20, 2012, in this photograph released by the African Union-United Nations Information Support Team.[Photo/Agencies]

MOGADISHU - Somalia's newly-selected members of parliament were on Monday sworn in as the Horn of Africa country moves from the long-drawn transitional period to a permanent form of government.

The chairman of the Somali Supreme Court, Aideed Ilkahanaf, officiated the swearing-in of 211 present at legislature's first session out of the 275 members of the new parliament held at Mogadishu's International airport.

Following the swearing-in of the new MPs, Muse Hassan Abdulle, the oldest lawmaker, was chosen as interim speaker and will oversee the election of the speaker of parliament and deputy speakers in the next five days.

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed congratulated the new parliament and the first session of the legislature as a "victory."

The selection of the new parliament was beset by disagreement over who will be included in the legislature after a technical Selection Committee tasked in vetting lists nominated by clan elders.

Interim speaker Abdulle told lawmakers that candidates for the post of parliament speaker and deputy speakers can submit their candidature and that voting for the posts will start in five day's time.

Outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, former speaker of parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam and many members of the previous parliament have been included in the new legislature.

The outgoing president, prime minister and former speaker are candidates for the presidential election to be held following the vote for the new speaker and deputy speakers in the next few days.

The term of the Somali government expires on Monday and the election of the new president is expected to herald a permanent government.


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