Parliament votes to endorse controversial amendments in Somalia’s constitution


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Parliament of the Federal Republic of Somalia has voted to endorse controversial clauses in the constitution, paving a way for possible political tussles in the country, after the opposition warned against the move.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been pushing for constitutional amendments, with the proposal suggesting for change of government structure. The executive wants to move away from a parliamentary model to a presidential system.

In addition, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also wants to introduce universal suffrage at the expense of the clan-based model which has been used for almost two decades during elections. Parliament is voting progressively for all proposals.

On Saturday, 211 PMs and 42 senators were in the house during the voting of the first four amendments. The voting on four provisions under articles 13, 16, 28 and 29 have been postponed. Those postponed include the right to life, age of maturity and religion.

Earlier this week, Somalia’s Puntland State warned against amending the current constitution. Puntland did not participate in the drafting of the proposals which were approved by the National Consultative Council (NCC).

In a statement, Puntland claims that Somalia’s parliament doesn’t have the authority and legality to “create a new constitution.” Puntland said only limited articles need completion.

Puntland also warned that if “attempts to create a new constitution” are implemented it will not uphold, recognise or apply any changes to the constitution that were made without an agreement.

Former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmajo have also criticised the changes, noting that public participation was not done. The opposition is expected to state this historical voting.


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