Somalia moves forward to electing president
Somalia has taken a step toward electing a new president after a committee overseeing the war-torn country's transition to a replacement government named more than 200 parliamentarians, a committee member said.
"We have 202 members readied now and we are working on the reviewing of 40 others that were passed today and we hope the first parliament session will be held around (Monday)," Halimo Yarey, who co-chairs the committee, said on Saturday.
"The rest of the list is still pending because of inter-clan argument and other reasons related to a lack of fulfillment of the conditions," she told reporters.
The legislature is due to elect the next president on Monday under a UN-backed agreement, putting an end to eight years of Somalia's graft-riddled, Western-backed Transitional Federal Government, or TFG.
The Horn of Africa nation has lacked a stable central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, which unleashed a bloody civil war and two decades of chaos.
But while the government until recently controlled only a few blocks of Mogadishu, African Union and other troops have since made key territorial gains in their fight against al-Shabab fighters.
With better security, members of the Somali diaspora have returned to invest in their battered homeland, and many now hope that a new government will help the war-torn country stabilise and recover.