Somalia Govt.: The Pre-War Electorate

Somalia Govt.: The Pre-War Electorate Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010

The overthrow of President Muhammad Siad Barre in January 1991 and the subsequent anarchy have left Somalia in a state of civil war with no clear central authority.

Previously, under an amended 1979 constitution, executive power was held by a president, who was not only head of state but leader of the only legal political party, the Somali Revolutionary Socialist party. He was nominated by the party's Central Committee and was elected to a seven-year term by direct universal vote. He was also commander in chief of the armed forces.

Legislative power was vested in the 177-member People's Assembly. Six of these members were appointed by the president, the other 171 being elected to serve five-year terms.

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