14 November 2012

Somalia: President Hassan Has First Major Speech Since Election

Mogadishu, Somalia — President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud gave a speech in Mogadishu his first since being elected in September discussing corruption, federal state formation and security, Garowe Online reports.

Reiterating a policy in his inaugural speech when President Hassan was elected in September, the Somali president spoke about battling corruption which has plagued previous governments in the past.

The President spoke about building supervisory organizations independent of the Ministry of Finance to account for money given to Somalia.

The UN's Monitoring Group accused the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia of over $150 million dollars that were unaccounted for.

President Hassan moved on to the hot topic of Jubaland state, that has been an ardent issue for the Somali President.

The Jubaland formation has been an ongoing process backed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Kenya which has deployed troops in Somalia under the mandate of AMISOM.

President Hassan has been viewed as attempting to meddle with the issue and have direct control over the formation of the Jubaland process.

However on Wednesday, President Hassan said that he fully supports the process and wouldn't dictate the political arrangement of Jubaland state.

"I'm not saying that Mogadishu will dictate the officials that make up the Jubaland state, the process belongs to the community of those regions," said President Hassan.

He emphasized that the process would be a Somali one and not a foreign designed process. According to local sources, President Hassan has been known through meetings with government officials to feel that Kenya is playing too much of role in the Jubaland process.

Although the President voiced support for the Jubaland process he also stated that there was a need for laws within the formation of federal states. The formation of a Federal State of Somalia under Somalia's Provisional Constitution requires two or more regions to agree to form a state.

One of the three points the President selected as important issues for the Central Government of Somalia was to make sure that clan conflict did not erupt in those regions. Although those regions have been free of clan conflict since Al Shabaab captured the southern regions of Gedo and Jubba regions in late 2007.

President Hassan has not spoken publicly about the Jubaland formation until Wednesday and has according to government officials slightly changed his outlook on the state's formation and the central government's role in that process.

"He hasn't thrown his full support to the state formation process of Jubaland but has backed that the process needs to come from the locals of those regions and not from Mogadishu," said Mohamed Ahmed a former government official and political analyst.

Somali Parliament approves of Cabinet

President Hassan after selecting a Prime Minister late October has a ratified Cabinet of Ministers after the Federal Parliament of Somalia took a vote of confidence on Tuesday.

Out of 225 MPs, only 3 MPs voted not to approve the constitution and 3 abstained from voting.

Former State Constitution Minister in the TFG, Abdirahman Hoosh Jibril who is also an MP objected to the approved Cabinet on Wednesday stating that it was unconstitutional for Parliament to approve of an incomplete list of Cabinet.

"Speaker of Parliament should not have approved of the Cabinet; to ratify an incomplete Cabinet deifies the Constitution and is an impeachable offense and we are building a case to do that exactly," said MP Hoosh.

Last week 30 MPs drafted a letter to Speaker Osman Jawari not to accept the incomplete list of Cabinet. The Federal Parliament approved the undersized Cabinet after both President Hassan and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon spoke to parliament after a closed doors meeting.

The new Federal Government of Somalia has monumental tasks ahead, as it plans to stabilize Somalia security and economically but political infighting could hamper those efforts.

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