Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud opened a national conference on the country's political future Monday (September 2nd) in Mogadishu.
The conference, "Vision 2016: Transitioning Towards Democracy", was organised by the presidency. The focus of the conference is on developing the constitution, federalism, elections, resource sharing, reforming government agencies, and good governance among other topics.
"The government wishes to listen to the people and consider the suggestions from this conference in order to go forward into state building and the transformation of clan MPs into elected MPs," Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told more than 200 delegates gathered for the opening ceremony, according to Somalia's RBC Radio.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jeylani Nur Ikar said Somalia would hold a referendum on the constitution in 2015, and form an independent electoral committee and political parties, according to government-run Radio Mogadishu.
UN Special Representative to Somalia Nicholas Kay said the United Nations' support for Somalia's development was built on the principles of leadership and ownership, international support, and seeking political solutions to the country's development challenges.
"A political process in Somalia that is broad and inclusive, that aims to review and complete the constitutional process, and prepare for credible, free and fair elections in 2016 has the full support of the United Nations," Kay said.
Mohamud said his government would work to achieve these goals before his term expires in 2016 and elections will be held, Kenya's Africa Review reported.
"We must be mindful that we have only 36 months left," Mohamud said.
The Puntland administration, which previously criticised the conference, said it would not recognise any of its outcomes, Somalia's Garowe Online reported.