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Somali Elections Postponed for One Year

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TEHRAN, June 9 (ICANA) – Somali leaders have agreed to extend the mandate of both the transitional federal government and the parliament for a year and hold elections next year.
Thursday, June 09, 2011 8:00:35 PM
Somali Elections Postponed for One Year

"We agree to defer elections of the President and the Speaker of Parliament, and his deputies for 12 months after August," said an agreement signed between President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden in Uganda's capital of Kampala late Wednesday, Reuters reported.

"Elections for President and Speaker of Parliament will have to take place prior to August 20, 2012," it added.

The measure comes as the mandate for the Somali government was meant to expire in August. The president and the parliament speaker had been at loggerheads for months in a dispute over what to do when the government's term expires.

The agreement also calls for Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to resign within 30 days.

“Within 30 days of the signing of this Agreement ... the President will appoint a new Prime Minister. Parliament will endorse the new Prime Minister within 14 days of the submission of the PM Nominee by the Office of the President,” the deal said.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, the lawless state has been embroiled in a bitter civil war for years.

Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) in the world.

An estimated 1.4 million Somalis are displaced within the country while another 680,000 live as refugees in the neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The UNHCR reported in April that the number of Somali refugees arriving in neighboring countries during the first quarter of 2011 has more than doubled in comparison to the same period in 2010.

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