Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre held separate meetings in Mogadishu on Saturday with the Monitoring Committee for the Review and Implementation of the Constitution and the Independent Committee for the Review and Implementation of the Constitution. These meetings aimed to discuss the progress in completing the federal government’s Constitution.
During the meetings, the committee members briefed the President on the Constitution’s ongoing review and consultation process. They highlighted the involvement of legal experts and Somali community groups in this endeavour. They also assured that they would finalize the process as quickly as possible to submit it for approval to the two Houses of the Federal Parliament of Somalia.
President Mohamud emphasized that the agreements reached by the National Consultative Council two weeks ago are instrumental in addressing the numerous challenges related to the Constitution’s review and completion. Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre elaborated on how his Cabinet Council facilitates the technical work required for revising the Constitution.
Despite facing opposition from senior political figures in the country, the Somali Council of Ministers gave its approval a week ago to the political agreement reached by the National Consultative Council in Mogadishu. In response, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre instructed his cabinet to prepare the necessary legislation to enforce the agreement. The Cabinet of Ministers emphasized that any constitutional amendments must adhere to Chapter 15 of the existing transitional constitution.
The National Consultative Council, which includes the federal leaders, including President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama, as well as four regional leaders and the mayor of Mogadishu, agreed to reshape the country’s political system after four days of meetings in the capital in late May.
The NCC plans to introduce direct elections as early as the next year, with unified election schedules and also endorsed establishing a presidential system for the country. In a departure from clan-based power sharing, the leaders agreed that one-person-one-vote elections would occur once every five years. The local council elections will be the first on June 30 of next year. The poll will be followed that year by regional parliamentary and regional leadership elections on November 30, the communiqué read.
The completion of the Constitution is a major policy objective for President Mohamud. While all political stakeholders desire the timely completion of the Constitution, the challenge lies in their ability to collaborate effectively as the process enters its final stage.