Statement by the President of Puntland State of Somalia

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Statement by the President of Puntland State of Somalia

Postby FBISOMALIA » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:50 am

H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole)

Excellencies, Distinguished Diplomats, Honorable Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am pleased to address this historic convention – the 2 Constitutional Conference here in Garowe. The first Conference showed Somalis and the world alike that: 1) conventions can be held inside Somalia, in areas of peace and stability, and 2) that there is a growing commitment from the Somali people and leadership to end the anarchy which touches on so many layers of our society.

It is our determination that this Garowe II Conference is held in a spirit of respect, mutual understanding, shared responsibility, and that this Conference plays a role in the concerted effort to save our beloved country and to realize the dream of

a peaceful and progressive Third Republic of Somalia. Today, the whole world is paying more attention to Somalia because of terrorism, piracy, famine, and refugees and immigration, proliferation of small arms, and general insecurity. It is paramount for the Somali people and leadership to understand and appreciate the world’s attention at this critical time of our history.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to briefly touch on key issues relating to the constitutional process. As part of the Roadmap peace process, the Garowe I Conference, held here 21-24

December 2011, laid the foundation for the ongoing constitutional process in Somalia.

The Garowe Principles agreement was a historic milestone towards developing the Federal Constitution and sanctioning the political institutions of a Somali federation. We have to give more attention to the constitution drafting process which requires time and specialized legal expertise in federal systems.

There are a number of key issues related to the constitutional process, namely: 1) the nature of federalism – many comparable examples in Australia, Malaysia and Canada; 2) the system of government – presidential or parliamentary; 3) the formation of Federal States and status of a federal capital; 4) the National Constituent Assembly; and finally, 5) the establishment of a bicameral Federal Parliament, where federal states are given a voice and balance in the national legislature – the upper chamber of parliament.

These are all important and relevant issues. Somalia has suffered a prolonged conflict in part because of decades of misrule that resulted in weak governance institutions, leading to complete collapse and fragmentation of the Somali nationstate in 1991. We have since been trying to bring together the Somali people and recover from war.

Delegates at this Conference have the noble opportunity to lead the Somali people towards a political system that is fair, dynamic and built on a strong foundation that incorporates our Islamic values, our Somali culture, and our local traditions.

This political system begins with a Federal Constitution. The type of federalism we would like to see for Somalia is a system where power and resource is divided between the states and the federal level. Gone are the days when power and resource was unfairly concentrated in a single city-state.

Expectedly, when Somalia’s central government collapsed in 1991, the nation-state collapsed with the fall of Mogadishu – a city-state under successive administrations since independence. This historic disaster should never be repeated and the Somali federation should provide space for political stability and economic development at the local and state levels, to ensure sustainable stability even if the center is threatened or falls. This is how government is managed – at the local level where people play the most important role and can solve and manage their own affairs.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our vision is to see a parliamentary federal system in order to better protect the interests of the people. Furthermore, we believe that the formation of Federal States – even those with nominal control – should be completed before the Federal

Constitution is finalized. This would allow space for federal states to jointly agree and sign a Federal Constitution, instead of a central government imposing a Federal Constitution upon future states.

The selection criterion for the National Constituent Assembly poses a dilemma and I urge Conference delegates to reflect deeply on resolving this issue. It is very difficult if not impossible to reconcile National Constituent Assembly member selection process with the 4.5 clan-based system. Our suggestion is to find a way to harmonize the 4.5 formula and the National Constituent Assembly selection process.

The Federal Parliament, as detailed in the Garowe Principles, shall have two houses: a Lower House based on 4.5 clan representation system for the coming four years, and after that to be based on constituencies; and an Upper House consisting of representatives from the Federal States. This provides the political entities that collectively form the federation with clear checks and balances within the national legislature.

Further, the bicameral Federal Parliament protects the voice of constituencies (citizens) as well as the voice of the federated units (states).

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am confident that a Conference held by Somalis inside Somalia will produce results that inspire our people and the world-at-large. Moreover, I am hopeful that the international community’s renewed interest and engagement in Somalia strengthens and reinforces ongoing progress towards sustainable peace, security, stability, and development and democracy.

Finally, I appeal to the Conference delegates and the Somali people in general to forgive each other, to forget the past, and to work collectively towards restoring the dignity and honor of Somalia and its people.

A successful conclusion at the Garowe II Conference will send the right signal around the world that Somalia is ready for sustainable peace, security and governance.

Thank you and God bless.
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Re: Statement by the President of Puntland State of Somalia

Postby CismanMaxamud1 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:49 am

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