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Somalia, Government

Before 1991 Somalia was governed under a constitution adopted in 1979. Executive power was held by a president, who was head of state and leader of the country’s sole legal political party, the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. Nominated by the party’s Central Committee, the president was elected to a seven-year term by direct universal vote. Legislative power was vested in the 177-member People’s Assembly. The president appointed 6 members, and the other 171 were popularly elected; all served five-year terms. The highest civilian courts in Somalia were the Supreme Court, two courts of appeal, and eight regional courts. The overthrow of the central government in January 1991 left Somalia in a state of civil war, with no clear central governmental authority.

In 2000 a peace conference elected a transitional legislative body and a president. The administrative scope of the new government is limited due to ongoing instability in Somalia.

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