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UPDATE: Puntland traditional elders in Mogadishu as part of the ratification committee of the draft constitution of Somalia flew back to Garowe, the capital of the semi autonomous of Puntland, for further discussions after frustration with the lack of progress in the capital.
Garaad Abdulaahi Ali Lid, a well-known traditional elder, said, "We went to Mogadishu to be part of the Somali elders who are acting as an advisory board of the Somali people interests, such as completing and approving the Draft constitution of Somalia. After 11 days here, writing is still in progress and not completed."
As Somalia Report previously reported, Puntland President Mohamed Farole criticized Somalia's draft constitution as 'unsuitable' in a letter to international officials. President Farole has since explained the specific points of contention and proposed suggestions, as outlined in a letter to officials of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).
Puntland's Proposed Changes to the Draft Constitution are as follows:
The headline of the constitution which reads “the Somalia Republic constitution” should be written as, “the constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia."
Chapter 2: The Republic
Part 1: it should be "Somalia is a Federal Republic
“The regional administrations” should be changed to the "government which are members of the Somalia Federal government."
Chapter 5: National Languages
The country needs one international language (the Somali language), the other local languages without looking at majority or minority they should be used in the respective region they way it was used before.
Chapter 6: The Flag and the National Symbol
Part 1: written as “the parliament will come up with a special rule for national song, guard of honor and the respect accorded to the national song and flag of the republic of Somalia." The part written “the parliament will come put with special rule” should be omitted since there was Somali national song before which was Soomaliyey Toosoo (Somalis Stand Up). It should be added “the countries which are members of the federal government will have their own flag and symbol” which is approved by the rules of international federalism.
Chapter 7: The Land of the Government
Part 1: “It should be in a way that abide rules lay down by the parliament” should be written as “in way which abides the international rules.”
Chapter 9: The Capital City
It should be added: “The capital city is neutral place and it should given a special status which can be negotiated and agreed upon by the government which parts of the federal government of Somalia.” Also it should be added about the decentralization of the federal government institutions like the parliament, the security forces.
Chapter 19: Respect of Home
Part 1: It should be added “...... or if criminal act won’t happen inside it”
Chapter 44: Land
Part 3: it should be added” the governments part of the federal government will settle down and prepare their regional political land”
Chapter 45: The Natural Resources
Part 2: "The federal parliament should prepare a rule governing how they are going to share the federal government, regional administration and district administration concerning the income from natural resources like oil and gold and fish." The written is not true according to the federal way of governance. This section should be removed from constitution until the members of the federal government negotiate about it.
The Natural Resources: everything that is on the Somali earth, every district owns whatever is located on (in) their land like river and farming land and will be managed by the government which are members of the federal government. Whatever needs to financed (like mining, oil, gas, petrol and etc) will be negotiated by the government which are members of the federal government. The chapter about the natural resources is against the 54th chapter of the Puntland administration.
Chapter 53: Election Procedure
Should written as “the election procedure of the Somalia federal government is based on the majority of parliament members got by a part in the parliament house and the percentage of the votes got by the party in the election."
Chapters 69 and 77: Power Sharing
The way the power sharing is written is wrong and offending to the governments which are part of the federal government and should be removed from the constitution until they will be formation of government which are part of the federal government and have with power sharing who will reach an agreement on the power sharing of the federal government and the governments part of the federal government.
Chapter 86: Opposition Leaders
Part 1: this part is not known what it mean so it should be removed from the constitution
Chapter 87: Setting of Law by the Parliament
Parts C and D should be omitted from the chapter since it brings confusion on the transfer of power.
Chapter 88: Number of Members of the Parliament.
Part 2: The statement, “a special rule will describe where the decision concerning the number of members of parliament" should be omitted from here since its opposing the road map agreement and the Garowe 1 and 2 agreements where decisions concerning the number of members of parliament have been reached to be 225 members.
Part 4: This part is not needed since its opposing the competition of multi parties.
Chapter 93: The Numbers of Members Legalizing a Meeting and Decision of Parliament
Part 2: which says "two thirds" of the members should be changed to "50% plus one."
According to the outcome of the Garowe and 2, the representatives of the regional administration states to the members of senior head of states of the federal government instead of representatives of the regional states. Special look to every were written “representative members of the regional administrative states” should be changed to “senior head of states of federal government”
Chapter 97: The number of the regional states representatives
The heading of this chapter should be changed to members of the head of state of the federal government of Somalia who number should not exceed 54 members as written in the outcome of Garoowe 2. this is based on the 18 regions of Somalia which will have each 3 members from the existing regions of the 1991 before the civil war. (18*3=54).
Chapter 101: Decision Making of the Representative of the Regional States
Part 2: decision making of the head of states is based on the numbers of the members at least two third of them.
Chapter 106: Legal Issues that Doesn’t Affect Regional States
It should be added that, “it will be valid if the votes are 50% +1 compared to the number of the members of parliament and members of head of states, If it doesn’t affect the states which are part of the federal government.
Chapter 107: The Legal Affair Affecting the Regional States of the Federal Government
The parts has interchanged the powers of the houses of the parliament of the Somalia federal government and the specific powers of the federal state and its state members, it has brought conflict and confusion.
It has to be written this way “all legalization of matters should pass both houses of the parliament, the federal government, the lower house of the parliament and head of states of the states members of the federal government of Somalia and any matter should be first forwarded to the lower house of the parliament before taking to the head of the regional states."
Part 1: it should be added “it should be valid and passed if the 2/3 of the members agreed so if the matter in hand is affecting the states which are members of the federal states.
Part 4: where it is written the president should be the chairman so that he can sign, a special look at, wherever is written “ the president should chair the house” should be changed to “the president should sign”.
Chapter 108: The Mediating Committee of the Federal Parliament
There is no need of the mediating committee of the federal parliament that work is for the high constitutional court.
Chapter 109: Spreading and Protecting of Law
It should be spreading and storing of laws in the work of the senior magistrate of the federal state of Somali and the senior magistrate of the states which are part of the federal government.
Chapter 112: The President of the Republic
The heading should be “the president of the federal government” anywhere written as the president of the Somalia republic should be changed to as, “the president of the federal state of Somalia.
Part 1c: the world "developer" should be removed
Chapter 113: Condition of the Presidential Elections
Part 1: It should be written as, “every Somali citizen is free to run as president of the federal government if he qualifies the criteria needed which are:
a) That he/she is a Somalia citizen, a Muslim who practices the Islamic religion, sane, not less than 40 years, with no foreign wife and should not marry foreign women during his spell as president;
b) Should have high education, leadership experience, knowledge concerning the culture and the tradition of Somalia, was in the country in the last two years;
c) He should not have been in court concerning his nationality rights in the last five years;
d) He should not have taken part in the countries destruction or acts against humanity."
Part 2: The statement “any presidential candidate with another nationality has first to surrender the other nationality he has and a valid evidence should be sent other the head of the election committee of the parliament" should be totally omitted since it’s against Chapter 8, Parts 3 and 4 and it doesn’t match with the real situation of the county.
Chapter 115: The Power of the President
The part saying the power of the president should begin with, “the guard of the Islamic religion and implementation of the constitution of the federal of Somalia.
In the power of the president, it should be added:
1. Declaration of the emergence situation and curfew
2. The head of commander in chief of the security forces
3. The naming of the senior official of the federal state of Somalia
Part 1: “....After the acceptance of the cabinet” should be changed to “the presentation of the cabinet."
Part 5: it should be this way,” the president is the developer of the peace and reconciliation”
Part 6: "The president should chair...” should be changed to “the presidents should sign”
Part 7: should be “the parliament (the lower house)
Chapter 117: The Court and the Sacking of the President
Part 1: the word “heavy” should be removed. The part says “the president can be offloaded his duties if the parliament vote for no confidence if he conspires against the country or takes part in heavy crime". It should be, “the president can be sacked by the two house of parliament if take he takes part in the country’s conspiracy or heavy blunder against the constitution, a vote of no confidence can take place if 2/3 of the members are available in both houses of the parliament”.
Chapter 122: The Cabinet
Part 3: the part restricting the number of ministers should be removed; they can be more or less than the number due to the political difficulties
Part 4: should be this way, “the cabinet can be chosen within the parliament or outside the parliament, if a member of parliament is named as a minister he/she will lose his parliament membership”
Part 5: it should be written as, “The change of PM what ever the cause is will bring the expiry of the cabined and calls for new cabinet”
Chapter 123: Qualifications for a Cabinet Member
a) The age of PM should be at least 40 years.
c) The sentence “if he has another countries nationality he should surrender it before he is named in that position”. Part (c) should be removed because it contradicts Chapter 8, parts 3 and 4.
Part 2: (a) it should be not less than 35 years
Part 3: it should added together (a) and (b) and they should be this way “It should not be allowed for them to handle other government position or private position during the time in office”
Chapter 125: The Role and Power of the PM
Part 1c, d and e should be omitted since that power is for the president of the Somali federal state.
Chapter 133: The Procedure of the Court
It should be, "the court case will be in two procedures, one base on federal the state of Somalia and the other the other state members which are part of the federal state. The high federal court is universal for all the states but every state should have a court particular to them”. This how the federal government works across the world.
Chapter 141: Naming of Senior Judges
This part is against the two federal way of naming judges which are federal way and way of the members’ parts of the federal state. Most of the countries court should be based on the states which are part of the federal government like the senior court, the highest court, the regional court and the district court; the federal government will have the highest court in the court. Courts a part from those named above should remove from the section.
Chapter 148: The Naming of Committees
It should be written as, “the naming of an independent committee can be named by the federal government or states part of the federal government and will be passed by the federal parliament in both houses. If the parliament passed it will then be forwarded to the president so that he can also pass it."
Chapter 149: The Qualification of the Independent Committee
It should be changed to, “He should have education and experience concerning the position he is named" or it should be added, “He should not take part in the destruction of the country."
Chapter 150: Period in Office
Part 1: it should removed the period of the committee in the office since its clarified in the terms of reference of the committee
Part 2: it should be omitted and clarified the terms of references
Chaper 151: The Sacking of the Committee
Parts 3 and 4 should be removed since it’s against the procedure of the judge and can be formed a specific court
Chapter 152: Progress Report and Final Report
It should be this, “although the duration in office of every committee can vary, its very essential for all the committee come up with a progress report and final report. Other parts concerning the independent committee should be omitted totally; it’s full of complication and contradiction which are unnecessary."
Chapter 153: this chapter should be omitted since this issue was mention in chapter 148 and 152; they are contradicting what was already mentioning in the chapters mention above.
Chapter 154: Independent Offices
As this chapter is written it’s not clear its motives and description so it should be this way: “There independent organization which will be owned by the federal government and the states which are part of the federal government like the central bank, national flag airlines and others”
Chapter 159: The Civil Servant
Part 2: it should be written this way, “There will a committee for the civil servant from the federal state and also from regional states which are part of the federal government”
Chapter 161-163: Constitution and Regional States
about the constitution of the federal government and the regional states, in order not to contradict these parts can be allowed as it’s written in the constitution.
Since the constitution of Puntland has undergone through the people voice and is only the constitution which is complete from the states which are part of the federal government so the both constitution of the Somali federal and the one of Puntland should not contradict before taking for the people views as it was agreed on the outcomes of the Garoowe 1 and 2 meetings.
Chapter 163: Revising and Changing of the Constitution of the Federal States of Somalia
This chapter is not needed since the change of constitution is the work of the constitutional organization which is members of the federal government.
Chapter 164-167 and Chapter 182: General Finance
As its written in this chapter its not acceptable and unfair, its also transgression in the sharing of financial powers in the country which were solely given to the federal government and nothing was given to the states which members of the federal state like Puntland state so that they can carry out their security and society affairs.
This part is very critical and it’s the responsibility of the states which are part of the federal state to agree about looking in to consideration on how fair its and should concur with international way federalism” What ever is about the finance in the chapter 164 to 179 and chapter 182 should all undergo negotiation with the states that are part of the federal government.
Chapter 165: Collection of Financial Income
Part 3: the part written as, “the federal state will use law to allow the other states which are part of the federal government to collect tax income. This part doesn’t concur with the federalism way of sharing income; the federal state will not have power to allow the other states members to collect income tax but will have authority to divide the income.
Chapter 180: The Federal Bank
Part 2: where its written “finance” should be changed to “money”
Chapter 183: The Saving of the Country
In this part there will be no organization will be given the role of saving of the country and the only agency that can take that role is the central bank.
Chapter 184: Safeguarding the Security of the Republic
This chapter is not specific for the federal government as it’s written in the constitution, it will be one which will be fully participated by the all members which are part of the federal state and the military should be from all the states of the federal movement. For example they should be written as follow:
Part 1: it should be written as,
"a) The national forces should be from all the states which are part of the federal government
b) The police of the federal state and the police of the states which are part of the federal government
c) The Custodian forces (prison forces) of TFG and the members of the of the federal (national) government
d) They should be the CID’s organization and those part of the federal government"
Part 2: implementation of he security forces will be used to carry out their specific laws for the federal level and the level of the members’ part of the federal state
Chapter 187: Ombudsman
The parts talking about Somali cultural affairs can work at this moment and they should be removed, this agency called Ombudsman is against the office of high judge, court and the rules of the country so they it should removed.
Chapter 188: Military Orders
The written part which says, “Members of the military can not take orders which are illegal and clear.” This part should not be in the constitution and will be in the rules of the forces so it should be omitted. Chapter 189: the general safeguarding of security forces. The topic of this chapter and what is written below is contradicting so it should be revised and rewritten. Special look at: this section is part of contradiction of the powers so it should be omitted from the constitution.
Chapter 190: The responsibility and Control of the National Forces
This chapter is contradicting the chapter before so it should be removed.
Chapter 191: The Responsibility of the Police Forces of the Federal Government
This chapter is talking about the lower duties of the police forces and will be written down in the rules of the police force which is specific for them so no need to be added in the constitution.
Chapter 193: The Formation and the Responsibility of the Security Forces
This chapter which is talking about the security forces, instead of forces, it should be changed to security and secret investigation department.
Chapter 194: Good Conduct
This chapter which is talking about forces conducting manners and good conduct of the federal government should be specific forces for both the federal government and the one for the states which are part of the federal government.
Chapter 196: The Operational Committee of the Security Forces
This chapter is opposing the structure of the forces, such a committee should not be here so they should be removed, the implementation of the forces under comes the ministry it’s under.
Chapter 197: Curfew
This chapter is against the chapter 125, part 1(e) which gives the declaration of curfew to the PM.
Chapter 198: The Setting of Law Concerning Security and Peace
This chapter is talking something which is not clarified so it should be re-written so that it agrees with what was written in the constitution or remove from it.
(Editor's Note: Unlike the May 4th letter that was written in English, this letter was written in Somali and has been translated into English by the author.)