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Mogadishu residents welcome introduction of direct vote

A street in Somalia's capital Mogadishu   -  
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The decision by Somalia's leaders to change the country's electoral process from an indirect clan-based system to a one-man, one-vote dispensation has been welcomed by many in the capital Mogadishu.

Residents said universal adult suffrage is more democratic and representative. Somalia has not held a direct vote in over thirty years.

"It is very good that the people are given the choice on self-determination. In the past, a small group of people used to elect our leaders behind closed doors, that we should accept whether we want to or not. So, if people are given the opportunity to elect their leaders, then they can hold those officials accountable," said Mohamed Ali Abdi, a Mogadishu resident

"We welcome the "one-person, one-vote" system being implemented in the country'', said Asad Ali Hussein. 

''It is something we want to do and we shall elect our leaders with more satisfaction," he added.

Since 1991, elections have been held through a complex indirect process where major clans and sub-clans use their numerical strength and influence to win key leadership positions.

The system has been criticized by some for lacking merit, and as being a source of power struggles and political instability.

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