Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
New political concerns for Somalia

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- With a new constitution in place, Somali leaders are called on to maintain democratic principles in the selection of parliament, a U.N. envoy said.

Somali leaders backed a new constitution that paves the way to a new central government. They must now set to work on choosing members of the Parliament.

Augustine Mahiga, U.N. special envoy to Somalia, called on the country's leaders not to take a step back.

"We should not allow parliamentary seats to become commodities for sale or items for auction to the highest bidders at a time when we are seeking to reclaim the true stature of a dignified and respected Somali nation," he was quoted by the BBC as saying.

The constitution spells out a bill of rights that considers all Somalis equal and stresses that territorial integrity must be secured through peaceful means. The country has fought over territory with neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Somalia last had a functioning central government in 1991. The mandate for the interim administration expires this month.

Parliamentarians selected by Somali elders would ratify the new constitution.


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