GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo unilaterally appointed a seven-member team to serve in the Judicial Service Commission without the approval of Parliament adding to increasing decrees from Villa Somalia as the signalling Farmaajo’s rule by fiat.
A decree dated December 30, 2020, which has not been made public since then and has not even been published by the state media agencies indicates the nomination of seven members including current Chief Justice Bashe Ahmed and Attorney General Suleyman Mohamud.
However, the revelations have been met with sharp criticisms with the Upper House and opposition politicians terming the move illegal and aimed at advancing Farmaajo’s political interests.
Senate speaker Abdi Hashi has poked holes in the appointments terming them illegal and of no consequence. According to Hashi, the nomination of the commissioners was done on July 30 by the then acting Prime Minister Mahdi Gulaid in violation of article 103 of the Provisional Constitution which only empowers a substantive cabinet and not one on the acting capacity to conduct such business.
The country was by then without a Prime Minister after the Lower House passed a motion of no confidence on Hassan Khaire and his Council of Ministers.
Hashi, who has been at loggerheads with Farmaajof the longest now also raises a procedural issue on nomination and appointment of constitutional officeholders. According to Hashi, the list was not approved by the Upper House as stipulated by Article 111 of the Provisional Constitution.
The same article makes it a requirement that the Federal Member States be consulted on the appointment of members of independent commissions.
Wadajir Party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur has termed the move by Farmaajo a strategy to appoint a Constitutional Court which in law is mandated to handle presidential elections petitions.
“Farmajo has committed two crimes. The first one is that he knowingly & blatantly violated articles in the constitution, 71 & 112 of the constitution, which stipulate that the JSC must first be approved by the parliament before a presidential decree is issued,” the presidential candidate said.
The JSC decision adds to a similar one last month when Farmaajo signed a decree allocating Banaadir region 13 senators contrary to the provisions of the Constitutional which calls for constitutional amendment and input of both chambers of parliament.