News / Africa

Somali Constituent Assembly Delayed Due to Constitution Quarrel

Transitional Federal Government of Somalia president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed (R), attends the meeting of the signatories of the roadmap for ending the transition in Somalia, in Nairobi on June 22, 2012.Transitional Federal Government of Somalia president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed (R), attends the meeting of the signatories of the roadmap for ending the transition in Somalia, in Nairobi on June 22, 2012.
x
Transitional Federal Government of Somalia president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed (R), attends the meeting of the signatories of the roadmap for ending the transition in Somalia, in Nairobi on June 22, 2012.
Transitional Federal Government of Somalia president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed (R), attends the meeting of the signatories of the roadmap for ending the transition in Somalia, in Nairobi on June 22, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Gabe Joselow
NAIROBI — A constituent assembly tasked with ratifying the Somali draft constitution will not convene on schedule. Tribal elders empowered to select the assembly are withholding the names of candidates for the new body in a play for more political power.

An 825-member National Constituent Assembly representing a broad range of Somali political factions was scheduled to meet Thursday in Mogadishu to begin its work of discussing and ratifying the Somali draft constitution.

But a council of tribal elders responsible for selecting members of the constituent assembly has refused to release the names.

Mohamed Hassan Haad, the chairman of the Hawiye clan elders, said this is a way for the elders to exert more influence over the transition process.

“Actually we have all the names,” he said, “but elders were saying to each other if they present the names everything will be in the hands of the parliament and nothing will remain for the elders to talk and be consulted about,” Haad said.

Haad says the elders are particularly concerned about a draft constitution, written in consultation with the United Nations.  He told VOA in a previous interview that elders take issue with sections granting women the right to run for high office and that the draft does not specify a capital city.

According to the U.N.-backed "Roadmap" process for ending the political transition, it is the constituent assembly that will decide whether to approve the constitution, not the elders.

Haad said the elders are getting mixed signals from the U.N. and the other signatories to the Roadmap.

“They say that the elders have an important role to select better people for the next government,” he said.  “On the other hand they say we aren't doing what we're supposed to do.  We don't see our role the way they see it,” Haad said.

A diplomatic source familiar with the discussions said the constituent assembly likely will be delayed until July 22 or 23.

The source said once the parliament is formed, the transition should be completed on time, emphasizing that all parties are still adamant about the August 20 deadline for lawmakers to elect a president.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a constituent assembly would choose Somalia’s next parliament. The constituent assembly is tasked with ratifying the Somali draft constitution. VOA regrets the error.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid