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Somali search for a president

Members of the newly-created transitional parliament of Somalia are now embarking upon the process of choosing a president and a vice-president, having elected a speaker for their assembly.

If they can agree from among more than forty candidates, their country could have its first head of state-designate for almost a decade. However, the embryo parliament, sitting at Arta in Djibouti, still has to overcome hostility or indifference from several of the armed factions which have dominated Somalia since the fall of Siyad Barre in 1991.

The election for Speaker took place late on Sunday night, and resulted in the appointment of Abdallah Deerow Issaq, from the Dighl-Mirifleh community.

Correspondents say that, as the result of a tacit agreement between parliamentarians, the posts of interim president and vice-president are likely to be given to members of Somalia's other main groups, the Darod and Hawiye.


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