As ambassador Mohamed Mursal took charge today as the next Speaker of the Lower House, Somalis will be watching how he intends to not only drive the legislative agenda but will also be gauging him against election promises.
Besides healing the rift that has over the months built thanks to a political crisis that culminated into the resignation of Mohamed Jawari, Mursal will be expected to marshal the House into business given the many pending bills before it amongst other crucial issues to deal with.
In his pre-election pitch to the House late last month, Mursal put forth an ambitious strategy which will now remain a point of reference for any a citizen in evaluating the Speaker’s performance.
Mursal cited ten areas of interest he intends to work on as the new Speaker. The list is as follows:
- Obey and abide by the Constitution and the House Standing Orders
- Complete pending tasks before the House including bills which will be crucial in paving way for electoral reforms ahead of the 2020 elections
- Protect the immunity of MPs as contemplated in article 70 (1) of the Provisional Constitution. The sub-article insures lawmakers from being penalized for giving their views to the House and committees. Sub article 4 notes the definition of immunity should be actualized through special legislation.
- Fight for the welfare of MPs and their families; securing medical cover for MPs and salaries
- Respect and uphold the powers and authority of the House in accordance with article 69 (a) and (b) of the Constitution. The two sub articles speak of the role of the Lower House in the legislative process
- Build and enhance cooperation between the House leadership and the various committees of the House. This will include and not limited to consultations on administration and decision making
- Build closer relations between the Lower House, Senate and Federal Member State Assemblies
- Enhance cooperation between the Lower House and all government institutions in accordance with the Constitution
- Champion for the interests of the public and given them a chance to air their views in regards to the legislative process
- Build relations between the Lower House and other parliaments in the world