MOGADISHU, Somalia Jul 18 2012 (Garowe Online) – After two months of constitutional setbacks, traditional elders have controversially reviewed the Somali constitution and agreed to commence the constitutional vote, Garowe Online reports.
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) State Minister for the Constitution, Abdirahman Hoosh Jibril released a statement on Wednesday declaring the review and approval by the traditional elders as a “historic move”.
According to the TFG press release the traditional elders stationed in Mogadishu had “days of open discussions and deliberations,” adding that the elders “paved the way for the continuation of the Roadmap process”.
The press release does not indicate that the constitution was changed but does say that the elders gave their input and will be reiterated by their selected representatives who will vote on the constitution.
A large percentage of elders stationed in Mogadishu have been critical of the proposed constitution even before the constitutional vote by the assembly, while the remaining elders were selecting representatives who will deliberate over the constitution from their respective regions as agreed by signatories in previous agreements.
The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) composed of 825 members are the only group mandated to vote on the proposed constitution, however elders have been very outspoken of letting the NCA convene before changes are made to the constitution.
Traditional elders met with TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas last Saturday to try to resolve issues to continue the process which came to a stop.
Both President Sharif and Prime Minister Gaas were optimistic that the transitional period would be ended on schedule, despite setbacks and missed deadlines.
According to the TFG press release on Wednesday, the NCA conference is set to convene in Mogadishu; however a date was not specified.