Somali lawmakers have on Friday elected a new parliament speaker in Mogadishu for the first time in nearly 20 years
, Radio Garowe reports.
Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden accumulated a total of 217 votes against his closest rival, Abdi Hashi Abdullahi, who garnered 143 votes. The election was decided on the second round when Abdullahi abandoned his bid.
This is the second term in office for Sharif Hassan, a close associate of President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. He was the speaker of the Somali parliament from 2004 to early 2006 but lost it to Sheikh Adan Mohammed Nur Madobe, who recently earlier this month as Speaker.
|Sharif Hassan, Somalia's new parliament Speaker|
Meanwhile, a meeting between President Ahmed and High Court officials held on Thursday night in the presidential palace was decided on the postponement of the election of the deputy parliament speaker position.
Second deputy speaker Prof. Omar Dalha has insisted that he still holding the position while his colleague Osman Boqore recently relinquished the fisrt deputy speaker position.
The election of Sharif Hassan, a member of the Alliance for Reliberation of Somalia like President Ahmed, is viewed by many as a possible solution for a bitter behind the scene power struggle within Somalia's fragile transitional federal institutions, that has forced Sheikh Madobe out of office.
Critics argue that ARS politicians now control two key posts of Somali President and Parliament Speaker, giving other factions within the Somali TFG less power and influence.
The ARS politicians campaigned against former TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf, who was labeled an obstacle to peace. Today, Al Shabaab controls more territory than the Islamic Courts Union as Al Shabaab expanded into more regions and seized most of Mogadishu while Sheikh Sharif was TFG president.
The unhealthy dispute has derailed the work of Western-backed TFG, which is faced with a relentless insurgency that is threatening its existence.