29 August 2012

Somalia: Supreme Court Controversially Overrules Selection Committee's Ruling On Candidates

Photo: Stuart Price/UN
The Technical Selection Committee is mandated with assisting and screening new MPs selected by a group of Somali traditional elders.

Mogadishu, Somalia — Mogadishu's Supreme Court has controversially overruled a decision by the Technical Selection Committee (TSC) to reject 15 candidates who were vying for parliament, Garowe Online reports.

The Supreme Court's Judge Aydid Ilka Hanaf gave the ruling Tuesday night after two days of deliberations.

The ruling stated that the 15 candidates in question who were rejected by the TSC - the committee tasked to select parliamentarians based on criteria agreed upon by signatories - can now qualify to join parliament, according to the ruling.

Some of the candidates in question have participated in militia groups; some have even had leading roles in the militia groups.

Mohamad Ibrahim Habsade was a candidate who was rejected by the TSC. Mr. Habsade was a former rebel soldier and prominent member of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army.

The controversial ruling has sparked debate amongst Somalis who are now questioning if the 15 candidates will be instated into parliament following the ruling.

The decision to put the candidates on trial in a bid to clear the names was lobbied by the former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

President Sharif implied earlier this month that the rejected candidates should be tried by court and announced on Sunday that they would be tried by the Supreme Court.

The TSC has yet to respond about the ruling by the Supreme Court.

As the Presidential elections draw closer after having successful elections for Speaker of Parliament, the remaining MPs who have not been sworn will be the topic of debate as Somalia attempts to end the transitional government.

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