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Somali Parliament Extends Term

Somali President Sheik Sheriff Sheik Ahmed (L) addresses officials following swearing in of newly-approved Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (R) at Presidential residence in Mogadishu, Somalia, November 1, 2010 (file photo)

Somalia's transitional parliament has voted to extend its term by an extra three years.

Parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden said Thursday that lawmakers voted 421 to 11 in favor of the three-year extension. Three members abstained.

The mandate for Somalia's transitional parliament and government was to have expired in August. Under the transitional government's charter, parliament cannot pass legislation six months prior to the end of its mandate.

Now that parliament's mandate has been extended, members are expected to select a new speaker in the next few months and a president in July or August.

Aden said he will seek another term as speaker.

Somalia has not had an effective central government in 20 years, since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The current government controls only small portions of the capital, Mogadishu. Chronic government infighting has hampered efforts to fight Islamist insurgents who want to turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.