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Somalia swears in historic new parliament

  • Somalia has sworn in its first formal parliament in more than 20 years in the capital of Mogadishu, bringing an end to an eight-year transitional period.

    The MPs held their first session at the main airport, which is one of the most secured areas in the city.

    Their first priority will be to elect a new president, with the vote expected within the next two weeks. 

    Outgoing moderate Islamist President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who has been in power since 2009, is seen as the favorite.

    Other strong contenders include Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and former parliamentary speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.

    The new parliament is made up of a lower house with 275 members and an upper house with a maximum of 54 members.