Somalia: Parliament leadership in dispute over Baidoa meeting
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The speakers of the Senate and House of the People of Somalia's Federal Parliament are at loggerheads over a planned conference in Baidoa city, Garowe Online reports.
The new controversy emerged after the House of the People's speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari has announced of a plan to hold a meeting which brings together speakers of the regional Parliaments.
In a letter sent to the leaders of the Federal Member States and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi Abdullahi said the meeting is unconstitutional and termed it as an affront to the existence of the Federal system.
Abdullahi urged the speakers of the regional Parliaments to shun the partaking of the forum organized by Jawari, saying it will hamper the working relations between the Senate and the states assemblies.
He has added that the House of the People is working just like the former 9th national assembly by ignoring the Senate's responsibility in representing the interests of the Federal Member States.
The forthcoming divisive meeting in Baidoa aims the formation of Council of Interstate legislative Cooperation similar to the panel created in Kismayo city by the Presidents of the Federal States in Oct.
The regional states alliance is made up of five states namely Galmudug, Puntland, Jubbaland, South West and HirShabelle. Abdiweli Gaas of Puntland is the chairman the bloc while Waare is his deputy.
The Senate, however, has voiced concern over the anticipated meeting in Southwest's interim administrative capital, Baidoa and called for the cancellation of it to avoid a new constructional upheaval.
It remains unclear whether the Presidents of regional states will accept Abdi Hashi's request which comes amid lack of better cooperative relationships between some leaders and their state parliaments.
No date has yet been set for the conference. Sources tell GO that Villa Somalia's Chief of Staff Fahad Yasin, who also maintains a close relationship with Qatar is playing a key role in the holding of the meeting.
Yasin, former Islamist is seeking to overthrow the Federal member States' leaders in turning their parliaments into opposition, a move that would endanger the country's journey to hold “one person, one vote” polls in 2020.
Somalia's International partners have already warned against any dispute that undermines the Federalism and pushed the leaders to end their differences over the constitutional review process and resources sharing in a recently held meeting in Mogadishu.