When will Somalia elect a new president?

An African Union (AU) Ugandan soldier wa
An African Union (AU) Ugandan soldier walks in the town of Elasha Biyaha, 20km from the capital Mogadishu on July 24, 2012. Elasha Biyaha was seized by AU and government forces in late May from Al-Shebab insurgents; it was called the biggest concentration of displaced people in the world. Somalia has been embroiled in a civil war since 1991, when former president Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted. It has been variously governed by ruthless warlords, militia groups and a fragile transitional government which holds official power in this Horn of Africa country.

Today is the United Nations' deadline for Somalia to take the final steps in order for a new president to be elected as the transitional government ends. The new parliament members are being sworn in, but a presidential election isn't likely.

More from the Associated Press:

Selection of a new, 275-member parliament has lagged behind schedule amid allegations of intimidation and corruption, and elections for a speaker of parliament and president are still several days away.

Some 225 people have been named to the 275-member parliament, and those members are to be sworn in Monday. When the full body is seated, elections will be held.

Somalia has been without a fully functioning government since 1991. The U.N. hopes the current political changes will help seat a government that can provide services to the people.

What measures are still needed in order to ensure a smooth election? What are lingering concerns? What is the mood of the people there and here in our local Somali community?

Abdi Kusow, associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University, will join The Daily Circuit Monday to discuss the current state of government in Somalia. Abdi Samatar, geography professor at the University of Minnesota, and MPR News reporter Laura Yuen, will also join the discussion.

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