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Somalia’s former defence minister elected new speaker of parliament

Somalia’s former defence minister elected new speaker of parliament

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Somalia’s parliament elected a former defence minister as its speaker on Monday.

Abdirahman secured over half of the votes from lawmakers that took part in the vote, according to deputy speaker Abdiwali Ibrahim Muudey.

The previous speaker, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, had held his position since 2013 but quit after a dispute with the president that analysts said was fuelled in part by a crisis in the Gulf spilling into the Horn of Africa country.

The president and the former speaker have long been rivals although much of their recent enmity was fuelled by the perception that they back opposite sides in the dispute that erupted last year between Qatar and Turkey against Saudi Arabia and its ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Somalia has been in a state of lawlessness since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.

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