Somalia: Mayor of Garowe criticizes anti constitution protests 7 Jul 7, 2012 - 7:22:51 AM
GAROWE, Somalia July 07 2012 (Garowe Online) – Garowe Mayor Abdiaziz Nuur Elmi said that possible protests of the draft constitution by the Mogadishu Mayor are counterproductive to the Roadmap process, Garowe Online reports.
Mayor Abdiaziz Nuur Elmi criticized remarks made by Mogadishu Mayor and Governor of Banaadir region, Mahamud Ahmed (Tarzan) who stipulated that the draft constitution include Mogadishu as the capital.
Mayor of Garowe Mr. Abdiaziz Nuur Elmi Photo (Garowe Online)
“The constitution was revised by a technical committee and agreed upon by leaders to be voted by an assembly, the approval of the draft constitution isn’t up to Governor Tarzan. The governor should leave the process to the representatives mandated for the job,” said Mayor Elmi.
Governor Tarzan while speaking to VOA Somali was asked about his stance on the draft constitution signed by leaders, responding the governor stressed that the capital of Somalia should be written in the constitution.
“I’m not opposed to the constitution, but Mogadishu as the capital should be clearly written in the constitution,” he said.
When asked if he would stage a protest about the issue, the governor responded that he and his supporters would demonstrate their “feelings” when they see fit.
Mayor Elmi said that protesting against the Somalia constitution would undermine the process in these final stages.
“If protests or demonstrations of the proposed constitution occur which could be organized in other regions as well, this could undermine the Roadmap and result to spoiling the end of the transitional government in Somalia,” said Mayor Elmi.
Somali political analysts, who spoke to Garowe Online, said the debate over the Somalia capital at this point is irrelevant because the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) will vote on adopting the constitution later this month.
In the Somali draft constitution signed by leaders last month, Article 9 states that the capital of Somalia will be chosen after the draft constitution is finalized following the elections, the Federal Parliament both Upper and Lower houses will decide the capital.
Although the constitution has not been passed, the document has been the topic of heated discussions.
On one hand, the Somalia draft constitution has been the main focus of criticism for some. A group of the 135 traditional elders currently in Mogadishu, whose representation is based on the 4.5 clan system, opposed the proposed constitution, sighting that amendments needed to be made to the document which was revised by a technical committee last month.
On the other hand Transitional Federal Government (TFG) officials have pushed for traditional elders and others to support the draft constitution. After disagreements with the initial constitution proposed in May, leaders settled their disagreements by selecting a technical committee to revise and amend the draft constitution.
The constitution is scheduled to be voted on by traditional elders and the (NCA) in Mogadishu on the 10th of July.