Hundreds of people held a rally Saturday in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu in support of the country’s new president, demanding political representation in the Upper-house of the Parliament and a role in the country’s political power sharing system.

The rally gathered at the city’s main Daljirka Dahson square carrying banners and placards, and chanting slogans in support of the newly installed President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

One banner read: “Hamar [Mogadishu] deserves respect and representation as it is the mother of Somalia and the seat of Somali government.”

Regional officials and community leaders who attended the rally called for the country’s new president and parliament to help the capital get political representation and address the grievances of its residents.

The current mayor of Mogadishu, Hussein Yusuf Jimale, led the spirited rally to demand passage of the city’s political rights, including voting rights in parliament.

“We want to send a message to the country’s parliament and the new president that the people of Mogadishu who are the “defenders of the Somali people’s rights would not accept to be deprived of their political representation,” the mayor said.

“We gathered here to support our new president and in the meantime demand our city’s political rights,” one resident said.

Somalia has a parliament that consists of lower and upper houses. The lower house is based on representation of clans through the country’s clan-based power-sharing political system, but the upper-house has been based on federal member states’ representation.

Somalia’s Provisional Constitution does not give Mogadishu a status of a federal member state.

It reads: “The capital city of the Federal Republic of Somalia is Mogadishu. The status of the capital city of Somalia shall be determined in the constitutional review process, and the two houses of the Somali Federal Parliament shall enact a special law with regards to this issue.”

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