Somali Assembly Begins to Adopt Constitution

Posted July 25th, 2012 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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A nine-day conference is under way in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where an 825-member assembly is expected to ratify a new constitution.

The Constituent Assembly began meeting on Wednesday, after the gathering was postponed three times this month.

The assembly includes a broad range of regional delegates who will discuss and possibly amend a draft measure. They will likely provisionally adopt the constitution.

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed says the gathering marks a historic moment for the country.

“I would like to congratulate all Somalis on this success at this crucial time. We are here today to approve the constitution, which means the foundation of our country's governance is being laid down.”

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government has been in place since 2004. It has been unable to assert power because of chronic infighting and chaos in the country.

The United Nations-backed “roadmap” for Somalia calls for ushering in a more permanent government.