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Somalia's Transitional Parliament to Elect Speaker

The transitional parliament of Somalia, inaugurated here Sunday, is due to elect its speaker in the coming two or three days.

"We are to start the process for the election of speaker tomorrow," Mohamed Abshir Muse, interim speaker of the 245-strong transitional parliament, told Xinhua here Wednesday.

Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh and United Nations envoy David Stephen attended the opening of the transitional national assembly, the first since president Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

The parliament will also elect state president who will be authorized to appoint future prime minister. The designated premier will select members of the cabinet, and then submit the list to the parliament for approval, Muse said.

Some 3,000 people representing four major clans and many minority groups in Somalia have been holding the Somali Peace Conference since May 2 in Arta, some 45 kilometers from the capital of Djibouti.

The conference, sponsored by the Djibouti government, was aimed at establishing a central government to end a decade of anarchy.

The participants of the meeting, including some of so-called warlords, came from Africa, Europe, America and other parts of the world.

"We have invited all the warlords in Somalia to attend the meeting, including Hussein Mohamed Aidid, But Aidid rejected our invitation." Muse said.

According to Muse, former Somali president Ali Mahdi Mohamed, and Hassan Nour, chief of the Rahanwyn Resistance Army (RRA), attended the meeting and were elected members of the transitional parliament.

"Most of the participants are satisfied with the process of the conference so far," Muse said, noting that 99 percent of the participants are here to vote for the restoration of national reconciliation and peace.



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