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Somali politicians warn against illegal extension of parliament and presidential mandates

Wednesday March 8, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) -Six senior Somali politicians, including former President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and three former Prime Ministers, have warned federal government leaders against extending the mandates of the parliament and presidency.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the former leaders expressed concern that an illegal extension of the mandates would cause delays in the government building, political stability, and counter-terrorism efforts.

The statement, signed by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Hassan Ali Kheire, Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, former parliament speaker Sharif Hassan, and lawmaker Abdulkhadir Osoble, stated that "it is regrettable that the Federal Parliament leadership has taken a conspiratorial step to prevent the fight against Al Shabaab and the building of the country's government. We still haven't solved the problem caused by the previous government's attempt to extend the mandate."

The politicians criticized the violations of the national Constitution by the parliament leadership and warned that the rebuilding of the country's government would be significantly delayed if the illegal extension was carried out. They called on the country's leaders to refrain from taking this step, declaring they would never accept an illegal extension.

On Thursday, the Lower House Parliament's First Deputy Speaker, MP Sadia Yasin Samatar, appointed a ten-member committee to prepare a report on a motion signed by 100 lawmakers advocating amendments and supplements to the Constitution.

The motion seeks to amend articles 60 and 91, which currently state that the President of the Federal Government of Somalia shall hold office for a term of four years, beginning on the day they take the oath of office.

The six senior politicians noted that there is no current need to amend the Constitution with the intention of extending the mandates for government agencies, as the Constitutional Review Committee is already in the process of completing the draft Constitution.

They emphasized that amending the Constitution is a big task that should involve all sections of Somali society, in accordance with Article 132, paragraphs three to ten. Amendments to the Constitution will be effective only when a public referendum is held on the articles to be changed.

The political leaders called on President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud to save the country and the people in accordance with Article 87, Clause (C), as he is the protector and promoter of the basic principles of the Constitution.


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