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Somali gov't, opposition sign power-sharing deal
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The Transitional Somali government and a main opposition faction, the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), have finalized a power-sharing deal during talks in Djibouti, reports reaching Mogadishu said Wednesday.

The two sides have agreed to double the membership of the existing 275-member Somali national parliament, Abdurrahman Abdishakur Warsame, head of the opposition delegation told local reporters by phone from Djibouti.

Sources close to the talks say that 200 of the new members will come from the ARS while the remaining 75 will be selected from the members of the Somali civil society, the Diaspora, and independent Somali politicians.

The latest deal is part of a series of pacts signed between Somali government and the opposition ARS, led by the moderate Islamist leader, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

According to the agreement, to be signed in a ceremony later today, the new parliament will elect a speaker and a President who will in turn nominate a new Prime Minster, Warsame said.

An international Justice and Reconciliation Committee, to investigate the war crime committed during the two-decade long Somali civil war, will also be formed.

The process is expected to be finalized within a month from the signing of the deal in Djibouti.

(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2008)

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