New Somali Parliament to Hold First Session

Posted August 20th, 2012 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Somalia's new parliament begins its work Monday, as the country moves closer to completing a complex plan to establish a stable, permanent government.

A selection committee has named about 220 lawmakers for the 275-seat body, but officials say that is enough for the parliament to convene.

The lawmakers are expected to vote for a new Somali president within the coming days.

Monday is the deadline for the election of a speaker of parliament and a president under a United Nations-backed roadmap to end the country's 8-year transitional government.

U.N. officials and international partners issued a joint statement Sunday, saying Somalia has an “unprecedented opportunity for greater peace and stability.”

The Transitional Federal Government has been unable to assert power and bring stability to the fractured country because of chronic infighting.

Last month, an 825-member Constituent Assembly passed a new provisional constitution.