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Somalia to set up assembly to adopt new constitution

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Dr. Augustine Mahiga told the press on Friday that the Elders of Somalia will select delegates for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) by June 20, which will convene on July 2 to approve Somalia's new constitution [press release, PDF]. The NCA will have until July 10 to adopt the constitution, and the new Somali Parliament will be chosen by July 15. Mahiga announced this after returning from a three-day trip to Somalia for meetings with the signatories of the Roadmap for the End of Transition in Somalia [text, PDF]. Mahiga also said that the Technical Selection Committee for the NCA, which will provide the Elders with assistance to ensure nominees are qualified under the Garowe Conference criteria, and the Somalian Parliament will be expanded to represent clans and international observers. Mahiga expressed excitement that "Somalia is less than ninety days from the most momentous event in its recent history" and called on all parties involved and the international community to offer their support.

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) [CFR backgrounder] has been working toward establishment of a legitimate government since the 1991 end of the Muhammad Siad Barre [Britannica profile] dictatorship. Earlier this month, a UN expert urged Somalia to establish a new judicial system [JURIST report] that conforms to international human rights standards. In February, the TFG was criticized [JURIST report] by Human Rights Watch for failing to stop recruitment of child soldiers. Earlier that month, parties to the TFG were commended by the UN for coming to an agreement at the Garowe II Constitutional Conference [JURIST report] that set guidelines for establishment of a new parliament.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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