INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WELCOMES ELECTION OF FEDERAL PARLIAMENT’S LEADERSHIP
The United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States congratulate members of Somalia’s tenth parliament for completing the elections of their respective chambers’ speakers and deputy speakers.
Earlier this month, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari was elected Speaker of the House of the People, and Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim Muudeey and Mahad Abdalla Awad were voted in as First Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker, respectively. Today, Abdi Hashi Abdullahi was elected Speaker of the Upper House and Abshir Mohamed Ahmed Bukhari and Mowlid Hussein Guhad were chosen as the First and Second Deputy Speakers of that body, respectively.
The installation of the parliamentary leadership concludes an important phase of Somalia’s electoral process. International partners call for the swift formation of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee on the election of the Federal President to facilitate the holding of a presidential vote by both houses of parliament as soon as possible.
The members of Somalia’s new parliament will face a hefty and critical legislative agenda. The international community expects the two houses of parliament to maintain a positive working relationship between them and with the executive, in order to accomplish the important task of building a better Somalia. The constitutional review process should be completed without delay as a clear priority, underpinning, amongst other things, the state formation process; contributing to and building upon key decisions needed on the structure of federal security sector institutions; and promoting consensus-building and reconciliation among all Somalis.
It will also be important to review legislation the previous parliament was unable to pass, and develop new legislation required for good governance.
The new federal parliament is comprised of the most diverse group of legislators ever to take office in the country’s history. Its members now have a solemn duty to convert that achievement into positive reforms that will expand opportunities for women, youth and minorities in Somali politics and society.
“At a time when Somalia is facing multiple challenges including the drought, joblessness and insecurity, parliamentarians have the opportunity to show leadership which responds to citizens’ most basic needs,” said Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia.
International partners have played an important role in providing political, financial, technical and logistical support to Somalia’s electoral process from its inception, and they look forward to continued cooperation and collaboration with the new federal government and parliament in the coming months and years.
At the same time, the international community wishes to stress the paramount importance of conducting a transparent, clean and credible presidential election whose outcome will be widely accepted by the people of Somalia and the international community. The abuses and malpractices that tarnished some of the parliamentary voting must be avoided at all costs. An open, orderly and fair presidential voting process will ensure the legitimacy of the new federal government at home and foster a political climate conducive to the successful completion of the many pressing tasks awaiting it during its four-year term in office.