June 25, 2012 ·12 Comments
Somalia’s signatories approve the draft constitution during a meeting in Nairobi. AP photo.
MOGADISHU — Somalia’s transitional federal government (TFG) appears to have strained her delicate relations with the Federal Constitution Commission, an independent body entrusted with drafting the constitution.
The chairman of the technical committee, Abdullahi H. Jama, said they received a different draft text from the one recently adopted in Nairobi for review from the TFG. He said the copy handed to them on Sunday during a meeting with senior members of the TFG in Villa Somalia was drafted in Addis Ababa by another committee.
“We met with government officials and they submitted a document they said was the final draft that was approved in Nairobi to us for review. They requested that we disseminate it to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA),” Mr. Jama said.
He stressed after review, they called for a session and the committee decided not to accept the new document from the TFG. He added the TFG lacks transparency and violates its obligation to the Somali people.
“The TFG decree underlines that the committee is an independent institution therefore a draft prepared by us should be disseminated to the public,” he said during a press conference in Mogadishu.
He finally said that the committee will submit its version of the draft to the NCA for final approval before it becomes the official constitution of Somalia. He went on to say the government version was not editable. Indicating that the TFG requested it should be left as it is.
The minister of constitution and reconciliation, Abdirahman Hosh Jibril, speaking to VOA Somali Services responded to the accusations by saying the term of the committee has expired and that their input was no longer required.
He admitted to making changes to the draft constitution in particular to articles that deal with the election and political parties. He reiterated that the two copies were the same apart from “adding the Roadmap principles”.
He said the committee wants payment for another year and that they can not tolerate.
The adoption of the text came after three days of meetings between Somali President Sharif Shaikh Ahmad, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammad Ali and the speaker of parliament, Sharif Hassan Shaikh Adan. The biggest disagreements were around some critical parts that dealt with the nation’s maritime borders and resources.
The latest fallout will complicated the delicate relationship between the technical committee and the transitional federal government whose mandate ends in August. The constitution has been in the making seven years and aims to navigate Somalia from its current transitional status to constitutionally elected government.
June 25, 2012Follow @somalilandpress
By Sahra Farah