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Somali clans settle seat quotas in first parliament for a decade

A Somali parliament is due to sit for the first time in almost a decade this weekend after delegates at peace talks here settled the thorny issue of how to allocate seats, it was announced Tuesday.

Leaders of clans taking part in the conference, who have been given quotas in the transitional assembly, have until Thursday to hand in their lists of nominees, said Hassan Abshir, the co-chairman of the conference.

This process was meant to have been completed by July 21, but was delayed by protracted horse-trading among the sub-clans of each major group given quotas last month.

Abshir said the parliament would hold a plenary session on Sunday. Since the 1991 fall of president Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia has lacked a national infrastructure and has instead by ruled clan-related warlords.

At 245 seats, the size of the assembly is larger than originally envisaged, because conference organiser President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti will appoint 20 deputies. Delegates, who have been meeting here since early May, agreed this was the best way to allow influencial people left out of the selection process to be included in the assembly, thereby speeding up the nomination process.

 

 


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