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Djibouti Conference

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The process of allocating seats for the Somali Transitional National Assembly

The process of allocating seats for the Somali Transitional National Assembly is slowing moving forward. Sources close to the Digil-Mirefle community have indicated that an agreement was reached between the RRA lead by Col. Shatigadud and clan leaders present in Arta. It is expected that the Digil-Mirefle elders will submit their list in a short time. The Dir clan and the Alliance group have already submitted their list for their allocated seats.

At this time, the Darod and Hawiye represent the main stumbling block, they are still negotiating the re-distribution of their quota of 44+5 representative to their various sub-clans. Currently, a mediation process is underway to resolve the inter-clan differences and rapidly move to the formation of the provisional government. Clan elders involved in the negotiations have stated that "It is premature to set a time frame for a submission of the Hawiye and Darod list. But, everyone is working hard for a rapid solution of this process".

The current mood seems to indicate that the Hawiye have made some progress in their talks. But, the Darod talks are in a stalemate. Somalis very familiar to the details of the ongoing negotiations held so far have indicated that the most difficult task is still ahead. Some of the delegates present in Arta have stated that the next phase would likely be more contentious then all other previous debates.

The issue of the presidency, prime minister and speaker of the parliament are expected to be a hot debate. The Somalis present at Arta have suggested that a mix of clan politics infused with modern campaigning methods is appearing in Djibouti. The clan politics, which dominated Djibouti's conference thus far, is leaving part of the stage to the backroom politics and maneuvering of skilled politicians with high expectations.

Once each clan has submitted its list of members for the interim parliament, those candidates for the presidency and prime minister position will begin courting the elected members.

The Somali intellectuals present at the gathering have indicated that each clan would have hard time imposing their will to the newly elected members of the Transitional National Assembly. Although, it is likely that most of the members of the National Assembly would vote along clans line a significant number is expected to vote on a personal or political preference.

Thus, this block of votes would become a high priority for any candidate seeking a key position in the provisional government.



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