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Row over constitutional review process tragic

Senate speaker Abdi Hashi addressing the media a meeting September 23, 2017. With him are parliamentary leaders, Review and Implementation chair, deputy PM and Constitutional Affairs minister. Photo: courtesy

President Mohamed Farmaajo and Federal Parliament leaders emerged from a meeting September 23 following complaints from the latter that the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs was usurping the powers and authority of the Constitutional review and implementation bodies and made a public pledge-to device a constitutional review roadmap in ten days’ time.

Seventeen days later, the Constitutional Affairs Ministry was a day away from opening a Somali Constitutional Review Convention but it came a cropper shortly after Parliamentary Oversight Committee, Review and Implementation Commission and regional states announced they would be boycotting it all.

We are definitely staring at a serious stalemate. The constitutional review process is an all-important process which we cannot afford to play cat and mouse games with. It is the surest though not the magic wand for Somalia to get things right-chiefly in the short term the preparation for the 2020 universal suffrage.


It is unfortunate and equally disturbing to understand that despite the public show of unity and promise by the Federal Parliament leadership and the President nothing positive is forthcoming. It is also tragic for the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs to purport to convene a constitutional convention when the key bodies tasked with the constitutional review and implementation read from a different script.

The Executive, Parliament and the Commission must go back to the table. The country looks upon you to provide much needed leadership on this very critical issue failure to which any meaningful progress will come to naught. The Constitution is the cornerstone of our country’s recovery and an insurance of our posterity. It cannot be Somali owned, Somali-led when we cannot even agree on a simple way of doing things.

RELATED: Executive and Parliament to unveil new constitutional review road-map in 10 days

It is also incumbent upon the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs that it considers holding back this convention until a clear solution is established. We must get things right. The Oversight Committee and the Review and Implementation Commission are a creation of the Provisional Constitution and expressly mandated to drive the process. The Ministry therefore stands to facilitate and provide support role.