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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Somalia: Federal MPs vote Mohamed Osman Jawari as new Parliament Speaker

MOGADISHU, Somalia Aug 28, 2012 (Garowe Online) - Somalia's new federal parliament has voted for a new Speaker of Parliament, following a year-long Roadmap process that has established a new Federal Constitution for the country and a new 275-member Federal Parliament, Radio Garowe reports.

Mohamed Osman Jawari, an attorney by trade from Bay and Bakool regions of southern Somalia, was elected uncontested in the third round of voting in Mogadishu, Somalia's war-battered, nominal capital city.

Prof.Mohamed Osman Jawari
In the first round of voting, Speaker Jawari was contested by five other MPs. Jawari received 120 MP votes in the first round, while the second-in-line, former Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galayr, received 77 MP votes. The second round of voting was canceled after other contesters for the Speaker's position decided to withdraw from the election.

Prior to the third round of voting, MP Galayr withdrew his candidacy and Jawari won the Speaker's election in an uncontested vote.

The Parliament Speaker's election was televised live on Somali TV and radio stations. The election was exciting, as Somali people inside Somalia and around the world anticipated the outcome of the vote, which is the first time that MPs from Darod clan-family have ever become candidates for Speaker. Darod MPs who competed for the Speaker's position include MP Galayr, MP Abdirashid Hiddig and MP Hassan Abshir Farah.

Since Somalia's independence in 1960, the Speaker's position has always gone to Rahaweyn clans that reside predominantly in Bay and Bakool regions of southern Somalia. But former Speaker and current MP Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who hails from Bay and Bakool regions, had personal ambition to compete for the Somali Presidency. It was reported that MP Sharif Hassan campaigned heavily for a Darod MP to win the Speaker position, thereby giving him an opportunity to run for Somali Presidency.

Due to the limitations of the 4.5 clan formula, MP Sharif Hassan can no longer compete for the Somali Presidency after Jawari was voted today as Speaker of Parliament.

Elections for two Deputy Speakers has been postponed until tomorrow (Wednesday), and the Somali President's election is expected soon thereafter.

Since key Somali leaders signed the UN-backed Roadmap agreement on 6 Sept. 2011 in Mogadishu, the war-torn country has achieved political milestones, including the adoption of the Provisional Federal Constitution on 1 Aug. 2012, the swearing-in of over 200 MPs on 20 Aug. 2012, and today's election for Speaker.

Meanwhile, African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) and allied Somali government forces have seized new territory this week, including the port town of Marka, 90km south of Mogadishu. Somalia's new government will face tremendous challenges in security, political stability, economic recovery and national reconciliation.

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