Garowe Online (Garowe)

Somalia: Parliament to 'Review' Federal Constitution

Mogadishu — Members of the Federal Parliament divided themselves up in groups on Saturday and began a "review" of the Provisional Federal Constitution in Mogadishu, Garowe Online reports.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari stated on Friday that they would be conducting a "review" of the Provisional Federal Constitution which was adopted by the National Constitutional Assembly last August during the then Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

The speaker invited independent commissions in Somalia to join the parliamentary discussions which convened on Saturday.

According to Speaker Jawari the review comes after multiple requests from the public to review the constitution.

"The review of the constitution is a very important task. We are conducting the review following many meetings with civil society representatives who requested that the parliament review the constitution," said Jawari.

Under the provisional constitution there are 57 articles in the constitution that need to be reviewed by the federal parliament. The review's time limit was not scheduled and could be an extensive process.

Federal states

One of the divisive articles that sources close to the parliament say will be brought up is article 49: The Number of Boundaries of the Federal Member States and Districts.

Under Article 49 the house of parliament before determining the number and boundaries of Federal states are required to select a national commission which will, "study the issue, and submit a report of its findings with recommendations to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament."

The Article goes on to state that the federal member states will be based on the boundaries of the pre-1991 administrative regions, "based on a voluntary decision, two or more regions may merge to form a Federal Member State."

Minister of Interior and Security Abdikarim Hassan Guled who spoke to press on Friday regarding the issue of states said that the Federal Parliament "will decide the number of federal states [in Somalia}."

Sources in the federal government told GO that top ranking officials are lobbying for 4 or more regions in southern Somalia to be made into a state. Following an SFG leaked document obtained by GO, that insists that the international community support a decision for the SFG to build all regional and local administrations in south central and southern Somalia.

The SFG has openly stood against the current community led Jubaland state process which involves the Lower, Middle Jubba regions and Gedo. The current process is underway after the SFG refused to attend the state building conference.

Political analysts tell GO that the issue of federal states will be a debated issue among parliamentarians.

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