Somalia parliamnet extends mandate, MPs sworn in

The previous Western-backed government failed to establish stability in a country where more than 16,000 civilians have been killed in the past two years.

Somalia parliamnet extends mandate, MPs sworn in

Somalia's parliament voted on Wednesday to extend its mandate until August 2011 and began swearing in new members from the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS).

The previous Western-backed government failed to establish stability in a country where more than 16,000 civilians have been killed in the past two years.

Ppro-deal Islamist Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the presidential candidate from the ARS, was the first new opposition member of parliament to be sworn in.

Candidates put their hand on the Koran and swore they would protect the country's constitution.

Abdirahman Warsame, from the ARS central committee, said 186 of its 200 new parliament members were present at the ceremony.

Outside the meeting in Djibouti's People's Palace conference centre, presidential candidates handed out their CVs to members of parliament and had their photos taken with them.

The list of candidates is growing daily. Besides Ahmed and Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, there are members of the TFG, a former prime minister and academic living in the United States, and others from the Somali diaspora.

Hussein and Ahmed are currently seen as frontrunners. But if one wins, the other would not be able to become prime minister as they are from the same clan.

Somalia's political framework aims to ensure major clan groups are all represented in government.

The United Nations' envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, hopes the election of a president by parliament will take place on Friday so the winner can be sworn in on Saturday and attend the summit in Ethiopia the next day.

Reuters

Last Mod: 29 Ocak 2009, 09:24
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