PM Hamza: All NCC proposals are subject to Lower House approval


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has downplayed claims that the government will bulldoze implementation of the proposed change of governance system in Somalia, adding that the latest raft of proposals will be subjected to voting in the Lower House which has the veto power to vet such legislations.

While appearing in the Standing Committee of Lower House on Tuesday, Hamza Abdi Barre, who is the head of government, said all proposals from the National Consultative Council [NCC], are subject to approval by the people's assembly, which has such mandate and jurisdictions.

The Council of Ministers has approved a political agreement that would see the country discard the current parliamentary system for presidential model. Barre has already instructed the cabinet to preparelegislationsthat wouldd enable lawmakers to approve the proposal without chaos.

From next year, the proposal suggests, direct polls will be held in regional states in a unified manner with the next presidential polls set also to embrace the model. The premier post will be abandoned for a powerful presidential model in which candidates will also have running mates.

Tuesday's meeting was chaired by House speaker Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur Madobe along with First Deputy Speaker of the People's Assembly, Sadia Yassin Haji Samatar, and other members of the Standing Committee. The discussion focused on strengthening and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of the Somali government.

According to sources, PM Hamza Abdi Barre also seized the occasion to report to the house the progress made so far in the fight against Al-Shabaab, terming the operation targeting the militants as a "huge success". He reiterated his commitment to eliminate the militants for the sake of stability in Somalia.

Even before the country gets into the second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab, the militants have intensified retaliatory attacks against peacekeepers and members of the Somali National Army.

On May 26, the militants attacked Uganda People's Defense Forces [UPDF] Forward Operating Base in Bulo Marer, killing 54 soldiers. A few days ago, the militants also raided Pearl Hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least nine people in the latest wave of attacks by the group, whose fortunes have nonetheless, dwindled significantly.

The militants also attempted to run over an Ethiopian military base in Dolow but the plans were successfully repelled by the troops.

Somalia has reiterated preparedness to replace outgoing African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] troops who are set to start systematic but gradual withdrawal.

By the end of this month, it is expected that at least 2000 soldiers of the 22,000 contingent will be leaving the country, subsequently handing over security responsibilities to Somali National Army.


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