By Somalia Rights Watch
Currently, there are signs of a widening rift between the Administration and the Federal Parliament of Somalia. The rift is based on a motion of confidence against the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Mohamed Osman Jawari, in which the Administration was the key sponsor. Several negotiations to address the issue have ended without results. There are potent risks associated with this highly-politicized motion; one of them is civil unrest and more political upheavals across the country. It could also derail the recovery, peace process and the fight against Al Shabaab.
On March 31, supporters of the motion and those against it prepared to show up at the Parliament for resuming regular sessions and proceed with the passage of motion against the Speaker. Prior to that, the Administration beefed up the parliament building with new security personnel, a move considered an escalation of crisis by Parliamentarians who opposed the motion against the Speaker. Mr. Jawari organized a press statement where he urged members of Parliament to remain cautious and protect themselves as well as the Parliament.
The standoff prompted the President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, to intervene by urging both camps to deescalate while postponing the contested session. Until yesterday, April 2, the public thought there was a solution at the end of the tunnel. But the stalemate proved persistent with an ever-deepening constitutional implications to the fragile system. This is due to the President openly taking sides and calling for the resignation of the Speaker.
Now, the center of this crisis is the President himself and the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Abdiwali Ibrahim Muudey. Through SMS messaging, the Deputy Speaker with the support of the President expressed his intention to convene a special session tomorrow, on April 4, 2018, to effectively oust the Speaker Jawari. However, the speaker pushed back through another press statement where he called into question the legality of Muudey to preside over parliamentary sessions in the presence of the Speaker. In addition, Mr. Jawari blamed the presidency for not protecting the constitution as his Prime Minister, Mr. Hassan A. Khaire, betrayed the trust with Somali people and those with the Parliament. Mr. Jawari has called for the ousting of the Prime Minister.
Elmi Duale Ahmed
Director, Public Policy
Somalia Rights Watch
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