24 June 2012

Somalia: PM Gaas Rejects an Increase to Parliament Seats

Mogadishu — Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Prime Minister objected to increase the number of members of parliament, Radio Garowe reports.

Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas spoke to Mogadishu based media on Saturday and said that the elders did not have the power to change the number of MPs in parliament but could suggest the matter to their leaders.

"To clarify, the traditional elders meeting in Mogadishu will select the MPs but do not have the authority to change the number of seats in parliament. They do have the right to make suggestions to this matter as stated in the Somalia draft constitution," said PM Gaas.

Traditional elders based on the 4.5 formula have been slated to select the upper and lower house of parliament.

Earlier this week some elders suggested that the number of seats in the lower house be increased by 50 seats to make the total 275. However leaders who previously agreed to 225 have been cautioned against making last minute changes to the Roadmap.

Prime Minister Gaas said that the number of seats in the lower house was discussed vigorously by leaders and did not need to be discussed further.

"The number of seats in parliament does not need to be revised, because leaders have had many meetings over this issue and agreed to set the number at 225," said PM Gaas.

Meeting in Nairobi, the leaders were successful in agreeing to a draft constitution to be presented to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) who will vote to adopt the proposed constitution.

Key achievements like the proposed constitution have been overshadowed by the August deadline and time has become a worrying factor in the end to the transitional government.

The TFG is scheduled to end in less than 60 days, and the selection of both houses of parliament and the NCA are still uncompleted benchmarks for TFG.


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