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Banaadir will get equal seats in Upper House as other federal states, Parliamentary Committee

Banaadir region will be considered as a full state entitled to equal seats as the other federal states, in the Upper House, Goobjoog News has learnt.

Abdullahi Jama’a Hussein, one of the 26 member parliamentary electoral review committee told Goobjoog News the committee agreed to include Banaadir region which hosts the country’s capital, Mogadishu, contrary to the proposals by the president led National Leadership Forum.

The Forum had failed to include Banaadir region, whose fate as a state is yet to be determined to allocate any seat for the Upper House raising concerns from the civil society who questioned the rationale given the region’s significance in the country.

The inclusion of Banaadir will therefore change the political equation and is likely to generate more debates especially from regional administrations. Article 72 of the 2012 Provisional Constitution contemplates the formation of the Upper House, whose membership shall be no more than 54 based on either the 18 regions in Somalia or Federal Member State system.

The NLF adopted the Federal Member State system counting Puntland, Jubbaland, Somaliland, South West State, Galmudug and yet to be formed Hiiraan/Middle Shabelle to share the 54 seats. The arrangement is that each of these six would be allocated 8 seats while the remaining 6 be distribute equally between Somaliland and Puntland owing to its political maturity.

The inclusion of Banaadir therefore means either 8 new seats are created taking the number beyond the constitutionally set 54, denying Puntland and Somaliland the 6 extra seats or re-adjusting the whole distribution formula. Even in the event Puntland and Somaliland are denied the extra seats, the number will be short of two seats.

Abdullahi did not however indicate how the committee would go around addressing this issue.

The committee has also clipped the powers of the regional administration presidents to sign off the final list of the chosen candidates in both the Upper and Lower Houses as proposed by the National Leadership Forum.

Finally, Abdullahi affirmed previous arguments about the number of delegates noting the committee had proposed the reduction from the earlier proposed 50 to 31. It means therefore if adopted, a total of 8,525 delegates will elect each MP contrary to the earlier 13,750.

The committee is yet to present its findings to the House.