Somalia moves towards electing new president

Somalia moves towards electing new president

Mogadishu : Somalia | Aug 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM PDT
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Halimo Yarey, who co-chairs a committee to select parliamentarians to form a new government said : "We have 202 members readied now and we are working on the reviewing of 40 others that were passed today and we hope the first parliament session will be held around [Monday]." He went on: "The rest of the list is still pending because of inter-clan argument and other reasons related to a lack of fulfillment of the conditions." Somalians do not get to elect this parliament nor the president.

The new president and legislature will end the 8 year reign of the graft-ridden, ineffectual, western-backed Transitional Federal Government'. Throughout much of its rule the UN-backed government ruled only over part of Mogadishu the capital. However, with the withdrawal of Al Shabab from Mogadishu the area controlled by the government has expanded. Somalia has lacked a stable government since 1991.African union and other African troops have however made territorial gains against the Islamic rebels.

Despite the approval of a provisional constitution the country faces multiple problems including pervasive corruption. Somalia has been battling poverty and the government survives only on foreign aid. The corruption and lack of programs to combat poverty help Islamic radicals gain converts. The members of the committee to chose the legislators were chosen from dominant clans and the committee was rfie with clan rivalry.

The parliament will consist of a 275 member lower house and an upper house yet to be chosen with a maximum membership of 54 members. These members will choose a president a speaker and deputy-speaker. It remains to be seen if this becomes much more than another version of the transitional government wholly dependent upon external funding and rife with corruption. For more see this article.

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Image: Reuters
northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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