Today from Hiiraan Online:
Somalia in critical political stage – AU
Friday, July 20, 2012
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has said it is satisfied with the firm commitment demonstrated by leaders of transitional federal institutions to end the transition period and usher in a more representative administration.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC), Wafula Wamunyinyi said that there was hope that such momentum will be sustained until when the entire transition, that includes drafting and promulgation of a new constitution, comes to an end.
“We have reached a very critical time in Somalia’s political history which is very crucial in determining the future of the country,” Wamunyinyi told a press conference in Mogadishu on Thursday.
“The transitional period must end on the 20th of next month [August].”
“The selection of delegates for the National Constituent Assembly is almost complete and it is expected that the NCA will soon take place,” he added.
AMISOM, the envoy said, is appealing to all parties to cooperate with relevant authorities to implement security measures to ensure safety of delegates and other participants during the National Constituent Assembly meeting.
Agencies reported that after two months of constitutional setbacks, traditional elders have reviewed the Somali Constitution and agreed to commence the constitutional vote.
The Transitional Federal Government State Minister for the Constitution, Abdirahman Hoosh Jibril released a statement on Wednesday declaring the review and approval by the traditional elders as a "historic move".
According to the release, the traditional elders stationed in Mogadishu had "days of open discussions and deliberations," adding that the elders "paved way for the continuation of the roadmap process.
The press release does not indicate that the constitution was changed but does say that the elders gave their input and will be reiterated by their selected representatives who will vote on the constitution.
NCA composed of 825 members are the only group mandated to vote on the proposed constitution.
However, elders have been very outspoken of letting NCA convene before changes are made to the constitution.
Traditional elders met with TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas last Saturday to try to resolve issues to continue the process which had come to a stop.
Both President Sharif and Prime Minister Gaas were optimistic that the transitional period would be ended on schedule, despite setbacks and missed deadlines.
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