First Published: 2012-08-28

 

Mohamed Osman Jawari elected as new Somali parliament speaker

 

Jawari’s election clears way for presidential bid of outgoing PM Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, US-educated economist who comes from Puntland.

 

Middle East Online

Legal expert who helped draft new constitution

MOGADISHU - Veteran Somali politician Mohamed Osman Jawari, a former minister, was elected as the speaker of the war-torn nation's new parliament, the outgoing interim speaker said Tuesday.

The United Nations-backed process, which will culminate in lawmakers choosing the country's new president, is the latest bid to end two decades of instability in the Horn of Africa nation.

"After a successful election which was conducted in a transparent way, I declare... Mohamed Osman Jawari to be the speaker of the Somali parliament," said Musse Hassa Abdulle, the oldest lawmaker in the house.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, which sparked rounds of bloody civil war.

Jawari, a minister under Siad Barre, is a legal expert who helped draft a new constitution for the war-torn nation, working alongside the UN.

The selection of speaker will impact the subsequent parliamentary vote for president, as Somali politicians have traditionally tried to share out the seats between rival clans.

The contest for president is expected to begin within days. Bitter arguments have begun between challengers for the country's top job, divided along Somalia's notoriously fractious clan lines.

Jawari is from the Rahanweyn clan from the southern Baidoa region.

Five candidates began the race Tuesday for the powerful post of speaker, but Jawari won the first round of the secret ballot by over 40 votes.

As he prepared to face a second-round ballot, the only other remaining contender -- former prime minister Ali Khalif Galayr, from the Darod clan in the northern Puntland region -- conceded defeat.

"I have resigned and I am not running for the speaker of the Somali parliament, I am thanking all those who voted for me and for the others," Galayr told lawmakers.

The election clears the way for the presidential bid of outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a US-educated economist who comes from Puntland.

However, it is likely to complicate the bid of former speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, who comes from the same Baidoa region as Jawari.

Outgoing president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in power since 2009, is one of the favourites for the top job, though he cuts a controversial figure with Western observers.

A UN report in July said that under his presidency, "systematic embezzlement, pure and simple misappropriation of funds and theft of public money have become government systems" -- claims Sharif has rejected.

Under the UN-backed process, members of the new parliament are selected by a group of traditional elders.

Around 260 of the legislature's 275 members have been chosen so far, the majority sworn into office last week on the tarmac of the capital's airport, protected by African Union troops.

The nearly 17,000-strong AU force has propped up Somalia's Western-backed leadership against attacks by the country's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents.

 

Egypt renews calls for creation of joint military force at Arab summit

Torturous Iran talks move into top gear in battle of wills

Qaeda seizes 'majority' of Syria northwestern city of Idlib

Saudi ambassador to return to Sweden after diplomatic spat

Oil prices fall after Yemen-inspired gains

Libya forces ‘withdraw’ from frontline bases near oil ports

UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place

Saudi-led airstrikes target arms depots in Yemen capital

Death toll from hotel attack rises as fighting continues in Somalia

Turkish parliament passes security bill after long debate

Turkey army chief of staff visits historic tomb inside Syria

Saudi-led coalition keeps up raids against Yemen rebels

Assad says open to dialogue with US

US backs Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

Heavy Saudi raids force Sanaa residents to flee

Israeli Arab MP walks for Bedouins

Gulf stocks regain ground after early losses over Yemen

Kerry presses Iran on nuclear deal before deadline

Somali pirates seize Iranian fishing vessel

Borse Dubai sells big stake in London Stock Exchange

Can Arabs form joint military force?

Libya rivals discuss UN-backed peace proposals

French President to join 'anti-terror' march in Tunis

Sisi underscores Egypt’s rights to tap Nile water

US-led coalition aircraft bomb Tikrit

Saudi warplanes strike Yemen rebels in Sanaa

Netanyahu to form Israel new government after shock victory

Turkey military responds to Kurdish attacks in southeast

Leaders see horror of air crash as investigators step up probe

Fistfight in Iraqi Kurdish parliament

Syria rebels seize ancient town of Busra Sham

UN reveals plethora of abuses against activists in Libya

IS attack kills 5 militia fighters in Libya city of Sirte

Yemen President ‘in safety’ as rebel forces advance

US considering launching air strikes on Tikrit

Yemen Huthis seizes key airbase near Aden

'Feminist' policy costing dear to Sweden

Obama says row with Netanyahu ‘substantive’

Tunisia honours victims of deadly attack on national museum

Roadside bomb kills two Egypt soldiers in restive Sinai

‘Islamic State’ woos Syria children with money: More than 400 recruited in 2015 alone

Huthi-led militia push on southern Yemen

US envoy to Libya leaves Twitter after barrage of online abuse

US provides 'eye in the sky' to support Iraq Tikrit operation

Turkey prosecutors launch probe as ruling party rift grows