Somalia proposes fresh plan for everyone to have a vote

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Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called on the public to support a new plan to restore universal suffrage next year, ending a decade of indirect voting.

Under proposals agreed at a four-day conference in the capital, Mogadishu, voters would directly choose a national president for the first time since General Siad Barre seized power in 1969.

The first direct vote would be in local elections in June next year, followed by federal elections later.

Somalia’s central government collapsed in the 1990s when Siad Barre was overthrown.

An indirectly appointed administration has been in place since 2012, but it’s marred by clan rivalries, corruption and political wrangling – further exacerbated by an Islamist insurgency.