Somalia: Key achievement undermined by IFCC rejection 27 Jun 27, 2012 - 2:44:55 AM
MOGADISHU, Somalia Jun 26 2012 (Garowe Online) – The Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC) have rejected the newly approved draft constitution after leaders agreed to present the document so it could be voted on, Garowe Online reports.
The head of the IFCC, Abdullahi Hassan Jama held a press conference in Mogadishu on Monday where he stated that he could not present the proposed constitution ratified by leaders, to stakeholders.
“Officials in the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) have asked us to distribute the document to different members of the civil society, but we have objected to this because this is not a document that the IFCC can be responsible for,” said Mr. Jama.
The statement by the IFCC Chairman comes after leaders had agreed to the proposed document following a meeting in Nairobi.
Shortly after Mr. Jama’s press conference, Minister for the Constitution Abdirahman Hoosh Jibril responded with a press conference of his own, saying that the IFCC had squandered resources given to them to produce a decisive constitution.
“This group had 7 years to produce a constitution which they were given millions of dollars for,” adding that, “they squandered the money in Nairobi and Kampala,” said Minister Jibril.
According to the Minister, the IFCC mandate had ended last week but the group was given a four day extension and that the constitution will be presented to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), the group’s services was no longer needed.
Despite the IFCC’s claim, leaders are going ahead with the process saying that the proposed constitution will be made available to the Somali public via internet and other outlets.
“This constitution will be presented to the Somali public so we can hear if there needs to be corrections, what needs to be changed and what they support, and we are waiting for their inputs,” said the Minister Jibril.
The Somali draft constitution has been the biggest obstacle for the TFG to overcome; the IFCC submitted the first draft of the constitution in April, shortly after that leaders met in Addis Ababa to discuss issues regarding the constitution.
According to the Addis Ababa communiqué the issues with the initial constitution were mainly “unclear” and “contradictory” articles. The constitution was submitted by the IFCC and Council of Experts who had worked on the document for several years; at the Addis Ababa meeting leaders agreed to create a technical committee to revise the document and amend unclear articles.
Following the meeting in Addis Ababa last month, leaders met in Nairobi last week where they agreed to adopt the revised proposed constitution. This was considered as a key achievement by UN Special Representative to Somalia Augustine Mahiga.
The TFG is scheduled to end in August and leaders have stressed that further disagreements could have a serious impact on ending the transition.