- Title: SOMALIA: Country swears in first formal parliament in two decades
- Date: 20th August 2012
- Summary: MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (AUGUST 20, 2012) (REUTERS) PARLIAMENTARIANS SEATED, WAITING TO BE SWORN IN VARIOUS OF SOMALI PRIME MINISTER, ABDIWELI MOHAMMED, SEATED AND LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (Somali) SOMALI PRIME MINISTER, ABDIWELI MOHAMMED, SAYING: "Today is a historical day in Somalia, and we are swearing in new members of parliament here, and we hope that the new government will be elected very soon." VARIOUS OF NEW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT TAKING OATH AT CEREMONY VARIOUS OF ABDULAH ABDI, NEW MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (Somali) NEW MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, ABDULAH ABDI, SAYING : "I am very happy to have been elected as an MP and it is also a great day for all Somalis to have constitutional parliament." NEW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT TAKING OATH OF OFFICE
- Embargoed: 4th September 2012 13:00
- Location: Somalia
- Country: Somalia
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEABP4RFEHH2XEXWH5K7R0D0Z
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Somalia on Monday (August 20) moved a step closer towards the formation of a new government as 225 members of the country's committee-selected parliament were sworn in.
The committee tasked with approving parliamentarians began swearing in 225 of the parliamentarians on Monday afternoon effectively ending the eight-year transitional period.
At its end, the new parliament will have 275 members and only then will it be able to hold the much anticipated votes for speaker and president.
Somali Prime minister, Abdiweli Mohammed, who was among dignitaries attending the ceremony held at the main airport in Mogadishu for security reasons hailed the occasion. He called it a historic moment.
"Today is a historical day in Somalia and we are swearing new members of parliament here and we hope that new government will be elected very soon," he said Since the outbreak of civil conflict in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country, but now there is opportunity to close that long chapter in a regionally brokered and U.N.-backed roadmap.
As part of that process, a speaker of a reformed parliament and a new president should have been elected before August 20.
The unprecedented delay did not however bother Abdulahi Abdi, a first-time member of parliament who has never held public office.
"I am very happy to have been elected as an MP and it is also a great day for all Somalis to have constitutional parliament," said Abdi.
Many say that the current administration has failed to deliver lasting security gains and basic services or improve living standards, yet President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former rebel leader in power since 2009, as well as the prime minister and parliament's speaker, are all bidding for the presidency.
They are also facing allegations of massive corruption outlined in a report by the United Nations' Somalia monitoring group.
Outgoing moderate Islamist President Ahmed is regarded as a favourite.
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