Somalia Government - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Federal Republic of Somalia

conventional short form: Somalia

local long form: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya (Somali)/ Jumhuriyat as Sumal al Fidiraliyah (Arabic)

local short form: Soomaaliya (Somali)/ As Sumal (Arabic)

former: British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic

etymology: "Land of the Somali" (ethnic group)

Government type

federal parliamentary republic


name: Mogadishu

geographic coordinates: 2 04 N, 45 20 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: several theories attempt to explain the city's name; one of the more plausible is that it derives from "maq'ad-i-shah" meaning "the seat of the shah," reflecting the city's links with Persia

Administrative divisions

18 regions (plural - gobollo, singular - gobol); Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe (Middle Jubba), Jubbada Hoose (Lower Jubba), Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe (Middle Shabeelle), Shabeellaha Hoose (Lower Shabeelle), Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed


1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960 to form the Somali Republic)

National holiday

Foundation of the Somali Republic, 1 July (1960); note - 26 June (1960) in Somaliland


history: previous 1961, 1979; latest drafted 12 June 2012, adopted 1 August 2012 (provisional)

amendments: proposed by the federal government, by members of the state governments, the Federal Parliament, or by public petition; proposals require review by a joint committee of Parliament with inclusion of public comments and state legislatures’ comments; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Parliament and approval by a majority of votes cast in a referendum; constitutional clauses on Islamic principles, the federal system, human rights and freedoms, powers and authorities of the government branches, and inclusion of women in national institutions cannot be amended; note - in late December 2020, the president signed a decree blocking the approval of amendments

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil law, Islamic (sharia) law, and customary law (referred to as Xeer)

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Somalia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (since 23 May 2022)

head of government: Prime Minister Hamza Abdi BARRE (since 25 June 2022)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister, approved by the House of the People

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Federal Parliament by two-thirds majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single 4-year term; election last held on 15 May 2022 (next to be held in 2026); prime minister appointed by the president, approved by the House of the People; note - elections were originally scheduled for 10 October 2021 but did not take place; on 13 April 2022, the election of the House of the People representatives was completed and the presidential election date was set for 15 May 2022

election results: 2022: HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud elected president in third round - Federal Parliament vote in the first round - Said ABDULLAHI DENI (Kaah) 20.2%, Mohamed ABDULLAHI Mohamed "Farmaajo" (TPP) 18.3%, HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (PDP) 16.2%, Hassan Ali KHAYRE (Independent) 14.6%, other 30.7%; Federal Parliament vote in the second round - HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (PDP) 34.1%, Mohamed ABDULLAHI Mohamed "Farmaajo" (TPP) 25.7%, Said ABDULLAHI DENI (Kaah) 21%, Hassan Ali KHAYRE (Independent) 19.2%; Federal Parliament vote in the third round - HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (PDP) 66%, Mohamed ABDULLAHI Mohamed "Farmaajo" (TPP) 34%

2017: Mohamed ABDULLAHI Mohamed "Farmaajo" elected president in second round; Federal Parliament vote in the first round - HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (PDP) 88, Mohamed ABDULLAHI Mohamed "Farmaajo" (TPP) 72, Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed (ARS) 49, other 37; Federal Parliament vote in the second round - Mohamed ABDULLAHI Mohamed "Farmaajo" (TPP) 184, HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (PDP) 97, Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed (ARS) 45

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Federal Parliament to consist of:
Senate (54 seats; senators indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 4-year terms)
House of the People (275 seats; members indirectly elected by electoral colleges, each consisting of 51 delegates selected by the 136 Traditional Elders in consultation with sub-clan elders; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: Senate - first held on 10 October 2016; last held 27 July - 13 November 2021 (next to be held in 2024)
House of the People - first held 23 October - 10 November 2016 (next scheduled for September - October 2021 but postponed to November 2021 and then extended numerous times until April 2022; next to be held in 2024)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 40, women 14, percent of women 25.9%
House of the People - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 225, women 50, percent of women 22.2%; note - total Parliament percent of women 19.5%

note 1: the inaugural House of the People was appointed in September 2012 by clan elders; in 2016 and 2017, the Federal Parliament became bicameral with indirect elections scheduled for 10 October 2016 for the Upper House - renamed 'Senate' and 23 October to 10 November 2016 for the House of the People; while the elections were delayed, they were eventually held in most regions despite voting irregularities; on 27 December 2016, 41 Upper House senators and 242 House of the People Members of Parliament (MP) were sworn in

note 2:
despite the formation of political parties in 2020, the 2021 parliamentary elections maintained a primarily clan-based system of appointments; seats in the legislature were apportioned to Somali member states and not by party representation

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the provisional constitution stipulates the establishment of the Constitutional Court (consists of 5 judges, including the chief judge and deputy chief judge); note - under the terms of the 2004 Transitional National Charter, a Supreme Court based in Mogadishu and the Appeal Court were established; yet most regions have reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either secular, traditional Somali customary law, or Islamic law

judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president upon proposal of the Judicial Service Commission, a 9-member judicial and administrative body; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: federal courts; federal member state-level courts; military courts; sharia courts

Political parties and leaders

select National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) approved parties (as of 2020):

Cosmopolitan Democratic Party [Yarow Sharef ADEN]
Green Party [Ahmed HAJI]
Himilo Qaran Party [Sharif SHEIKH AHMED]
Ilays Party [Abdulkadir OSOBLE]
Justice and Reconciliation Party
National Progressive Party
Peace and Unity Party [Asha ABDALLA]
Qaransoor Party [Abdijabaar SHEIKH AHMED]
Qiimo Qaran Party
Security and Justice Party
Social Justice Party [Mohamed NUR, chairman]
Somali Labour Party[Ali Mohamed APOLLO, chairman]
Somali Republic Party [Abdinur Ahmed DARMAN, chairman]
Somali Social Unity Party or SSUP [Yaasiin Maaxi MACALIN]
Union for Peace and Development Party or PDP [HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud]
Wadajir Party [Abdirahman Abdishakur WARSAME]

note: in 2017 an independent electoral commission (the NIEC) was inaugurated with a mandate to oversee the process of registration of political parties in the country; as of 2021, the NIEC had registered a total of 110 parties

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ali Sharif AHMED (since 16 September 2019)

chancery: 1609 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 853-9164

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Larry E. ANDRE, Jr. (since 9 February 2022)

embassy: Mogadishu, (reopened October 2019 on the grounds of the Mogadishu Airport)

mailing address: P.O. Box 606 Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya

telephone: [254] 20 363-6451

email address and website:

Flag description

light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; the blue field was originally influenced by the flag of the UN but today is said to denote the sky and the neighboring Indian Ocean; the five points of the star represent the five regions in the horn of Africa that are inhabited by Somali people: the former British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland (which together make up Somalia), Djibouti, Ogaden (Ethiopia), and the North East Province (Kenya)

National symbol(s)

leopard; national colors: blue, white

National anthem

name: "Qolobaa Calankeed" (Every Nation Has its own Flag)

lyrics/music: lyrics/music: Abdullahi QARSHE

note: adopted 2012; written in 1959

Government - note

regional and local governing bodies continue to exist and control various areas of the country, including the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia

NOTE: The information regarding Somalia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Somalia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Somalia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.