Blow to constitutional convention as review and implementation bodies boycott

Parliamentary Constitutional Oversight Committee chair Senator Abdi Qebydiid addressing the media Saturday. The two constitutional review and implementation committees termed the Sunday convention a violation of the law. Photo: Goobjoog News|October 7, 2017

Two Constitutional Review and Implementation bodies have distanced themselves from a constitutional review convention set for Sunday under the auspices of the Constitutional Affairs Ministry terming it a unilateral decision and a violation of the Constitution.

The Joint Parliamentary Constitutional Oversight Committee and the Review and Implementation Commission (RIC) said Saturday in a joint media conference the Ministry ‘was forcing things to happen and in blind observance of the law’.

Constitutional Affairs Ministry announced this week the Somali National Constitution Convention bringing together regional and federal leaders, civil society among others will run from October 8-10. But the meeting had also suffered setbacks after it emerged Saturday regional administrations had given it a wide berth.

A source at the Constitutional Affairs ministry told Goobjoog News preparations for the meeting were near complete. Invitations were sent to several stakeholders among them the two constitutional review and oversight committees, the source who could not be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media said.

The two bodies (OC and RIC) called on stakeholders including the international community to boycott the meeting and drop funding.  “The two committees are warning the international organizations and donors that are interested in the affairs on the issues of the Constitutional Review not to take part; not to fund since it’s a disruption of the matters of the process on Constitutional Review and at the same time a coup on the responsibilities and powers of the 2 committees who have the onus for the Constitutional Review,” the statement read out by OC chairman Senator Abdi Qeybdiid said in part.

The developments come amid understanding by Goobjoog News the meeting by the Federal Parliament leaders and President Mohamed Farmaajo did not yield a common ground. During the meeting in September 23, the two institutions said they had agreed to come up with a constitutional review roadmap in ten days but no word has been forthcoming yet. Nothing substantial came out and there is no clear direction as you can see what the Ministry (Constitutional Affairs) is doing, a source privy to the talks told Goobjoog News.

Parliament, Goobjoog News learnt had expressed concerns over the manner in which the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs was conducting meetings on constitutional review process. It noted that only the Oversight Committee and the RIC which are established under articles 133 and 134 of the Provisional Constitution respectively have the mandate the conduct the review and implementation of the draft law. The Ministry of Constitutional Affairs is only tasked with support roles, Upper House and Lower Houses observed.

The RIC and OC Saturday accused the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs of pursuing personal interests at the expense of the constitutional review process.

 


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