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Somalia's bicameral Parliament approves amendment of provisional Constitution

Saturday March 30, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia's bicameral federal Parliament approved the amendment of the first four chapters of the country’s provisional Constitution on Saturday following several weeks of heated debates in the Parliament.

The lawmakers voted on the four chapters one by one before casting their votes for the overall amendments of the Constitution proposed by the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission.

The Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission stated that three provisions in the draft related to religion will be sent for further research.

The Speaker of the Lower House, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nor Madobe, announced that 212 members of the Lower House and 42 members of the Upper House voted in favour of amending the Constitution. No lawmakers abstained or rejected the amendment.

One provision in the approved draft stated that the country will have a President and a Prime Minister, with the President having the authority to appoint and remove the Prime Minister from office.

Previously, the Constitution stated that the President would appoint the Prime Minister, who would then require a vote of confidence from Parliament. Simultaneously, Parliament could remove the Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence.

Other provisions set the term of office for government constitutional bodies at five years, referring to regional state presidents as leaders and establishing three political parties in the country.

Former Somali Presidents Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and Puntland State leaders opposed amending the Constitution, citing a lack of consensus among political stakeholders.

Somalia’s 2012 provisional constitution has been under review for nearly a decade, but efforts to finalize the review have picked up since late 2023. In February, the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission sent Parliament suggested amendments to the provisional Constitution’s first four chapters, which includes articles on the age of majority and on the criminalization of female genital mutilation.

On 24 January, Somalia’s Federal Parliament approved the ‘Adoption Procedure for Constitutional Amendment’ in a joint session of the House of the People and the Upper House.


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