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Somali lawmakers submit impeachment motion against President

Up to a third of legislators in Somali have today submitted an impeachment motion against President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to the Federal Parliament.

In a statement to the media, the lawmakers said they had taken the move following consultations among fellow members and various stakeholders in the political process in Somalia informed by what they termed as flagrant contravention of the constitution and abuse of power by the president.

“During these consultative meetings, it has come to our attention that our country is bleeding politically, financially, morally and ethically because of the poor leadership of the President, the corrupt practices of his office and that of his cronies, the flagrant contravention of the constitution and abuse of power,” said the lawmakers.

Minimum threshold

The MPs, who said they have managed to garner the one third threshold to impeach the president as contemplated in the Provisional Constitution 2012 hinged their arguments on seven areas which they accuse the president of either commission or omission in his duty.

They have accused the president of authorizing executions of civilians tried in military courts. “Military courts are prohibited from trying civilian cases under the Provisional Constitution of Somalia and the President does not have any authority to legislate laws,” said the MPs.

The incessant infighting between the presidency and the office of the Prime Minister which has seen two Prime Ministers come and go within a span of three years of President Mohamud’s stay in office has also irked the lawmakers. The MPs say despite outright provisions in article 97 of the Provisional Constitution which vests executive authority on the Council of Ministers, the President has usurped these powers, thus  ” diverted successive governments from attending to their crucial policy and legislative agenda, and caused gridlock and inertia in government’.

Soma Oil 

The Soma Oil contracts which have been hitting the headlines in the last two weeks have not escaped the lawmakers’ attention in calling for the president to quit office. In their memorandum, the lawmakers have accused the president and his cronies for what they say is a violation of procurement processes.

” The President and his cronies have engaged in massive and shameless documentable corruption during the past three years. They have signed international contracts with foreign companies without obtaining approval from parliament, and under dubious procurement processes,” reads the statement in part.

The lawmakers have questioned the manner in which Soma Oil and Gas was awarded a seismic survey license in Somalia despite the fact that it was barely six months old at the time the contract was signed.

Elections 2016

Other issues addressed by the lawmakers include what they term as intentional failure by the president to complete the legislative and structural requirements for ending the transition towards elections in 2016. Federal Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari has been on record on a number of occasions warning lawmakers against failure to attend parliamentary sessions noting that this significantly impeded the legislative agenda of the House.

The president two weeks ago ruled out the option of a universal vote in 2016 but promised the country’s leadership would deliberate on a generally acceptable formula.

The Speaker is expected to issue directions in the next seating of parliament on the way forward regarding the debating of the motion.