New Parliament Is Convened in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia convened a new federal Parliament on Monday, swearing in a new government to replace the internationally backed transitional federal government that has tried, with varying degrees of success, to assert control over the embattled country in recent years.
More than 200 members of Parliament were sworn in at a ceremony at Mogadishu’s international airport to complete what international officials have called the road map process toward stability after two decades of war. But while the nation’s transitional period of governance has officially ended, the new government is still considered a caretaker because it was not directly elected and springs from a Constitution that needs to be ratified by public referendum.
The members of Parliament were selected by clan chiefs, and some candidates were rejected by a committee evaluating their qualifications. Some officials described the new Parliament as smaller and more professional than the last one, because of more stringent entry requirements. The hope is that it will be less vulnerable to corruption and manipulation than previous parliaments. A new president must also be selected, most likely in the coming days or weeks.
After the swearing-in, Parliament was asked to elect a temporary speaker, which according to the Constitution would be the oldest member. As such, Gen. Muse Hassan Abdulle, 72, become the speaker.
The president of the transitional federal government, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, said in his closing remarks that the transition had ended successfully.
“Today, we are in the day we have promised to end the transition to a permanent government, and we are required to keep the momentum,” he said.
Similarly, the United Nations special representative of the secretary general for Somalia, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, said: “This historic moment marks the long-awaited end of the transitional period in Somalia. The new M.P.’s, selected after broad-based, grass-roots consultations and representing all of Somalia’s clans, have been successfully screened against objective criteria and are now ready to start their important work.”
Source: New York