members of Somalia's new interim parliament, the Transitional
National Assembly (TNA), meeting in Djibouti, started voting
on Friday to elect the country's first head of state in nearly
a decade of civil war and anarchy.
sources told IRIN the voting was expected to last well into
the night as the field of 28 candidates is narrowed down.
the new president is chosen, he will be formally inaugurated
at a ceremony to which several regional heads of state have
been invited by President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.
the graphic to visit IRIN's Somalia National Peace Conference
WebSpecial According to a new charter, the new president must
be a practising Muslim, at least 40 years-old and of sound
mind, whose parents and wife are "original" Somali-born citizens.
should show him never to have been convicted of a crime against
the state, nor to have engaged in commercial or professional
activities conflicting with the requirements of the office
of the head of state.
days, he will be sworn into office for three years, and will
appoint a prime minister who can be dismissed if he loses
the confidence of the TNA. The president will also appoint
the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and will be commander-in-chief
of the armed forces. But he can only "declare a state of war
after authorisation from the TNA".
at the conference have said they expect the new government
to return to Somalia. But no date has been announced, and
some of the country's key faction leaders who have boycotted
the Djibouti process, have said they will not recognise or
accept the new administration.