Somali politician Mohamed Osman Jawari has been appointed as the country’s new parliament speaker by the legislative house. The parliament elected Jawari in the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday. Jawari, who was a former minister, is a legal expert who helped draft a new constitution for the African country. The parliament is set to elect a president, who will in turn appoint a prime minister to form a cabinet, in order to put an end to eight years of transitional governments.
Last week, Somalia’s new parliament was sworn in for the first time after more than 20 years.Some 250 lawmakers were sworn in by the chief justice on copies of the Holy Qur'an in front of Somalia's national flag. Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years, and is propped up by a 10,000-strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti. AGB/AS