Hundreds of newly elected Somali lawmakers held their first parliamentary session on Tuesday in Mogadishu, surrounded by tight security. Osman Ilmi Boqore was appointed speaker of the lower chamber after parliament held its first session. The ceremony took place at the capital city’s General Kahiye Police Academy.
The inauguration ceremony of both the lower and upper houses started and ended in a very good atmosphere, the Somali National News Agency reported. Lawmakers held a copy of the Quran while being sworn in. The Somali parliament has 329 members: 54 in the Senate and 275 in the lower house, the People’s Assembly.
Somalia is still trying to establish its first effective central government since 1991 after warlords ousted former ruler Siad Barre, plunging the country into chaos and civil war. An electoral official says Somalia has decided to delay its presidential election for a fourth time amid allegations of fraud and intimidation.The vote had been set for Wednesday, but the official said Monday it likely will be Jan. 24 instead. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The al-Shabaab militant group continues to carry out attacks in the troubled Horn of Africa country. Over 20,000 troops are stationed in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) fighting the al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.
Source: Anadolu Agency