The Foundation supports a meeting of the three Somali constitutional review entities on their respective handover reports.
From 9 to 11 March 2021, the Max Planck Foundation provided technical and legal advice at a meeting between the Constitutional Oversight Committee of the Somali Federal Parliament, the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission and the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs discussing the harmonisation of the constitutional review handover reports for the next parliament.
On 24 December 2020, the Somali President, HE Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo) signed a presidential decree deferring the constitutional review process to a time after the upcoming elections. Following this official deferral of the constitutional review process to the next term of parliament, the three constitutional review entities commenced their preparations of constitutional review handover reports. These reports aim to document actual achievements and highlighting outstanding issues in order to enable the next parliament to continue with the constitutional review process and build on these achievements rather than re-starting the entire process.
One of the main achievements during the current term of parliament was the finalisation of the third draft constitutional amendment document, which the Constitutional Oversight Committee will request its successor to present to the newly elected parliament. On the basis of this draft, the Constitutional Oversight Committee and the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission prepared a comprehensive report on the drafting process and their main observations. The Ministry of Constitutional Affairs prepared a comprehensive report on the overall constitutional review process, as well as on public and political consultations held during the current term of parliament. This report is intended to inform political stakeholders on the outstanding political issues of the constitutional review process.
Now the Constitutional Oversight Committee, the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission and the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs convened for a meeting to present their respective reports and to identify and discuss discrepancies between the third draft constitutional amendment document and the two reports. The Foundation provided technical assistance to identify these discrepancies and facilitated some of the discussions. As a result, it was agreed that the Constitutional Oversight Committee and the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission will further refine the third draft constitutional amendment document on the basis of technical comments and feedback received at the meeting. Additionally, the handover report will clarify that any suggestions on contentious issues are merely subject for consideration and remain open for future political dialogue between the Federal Government and the Federal Member States. It was further agreed that these contentious issues do not only include the questions of natural resource sharing, distribution of powers and competencies and public finance as mentioned in the Provisional Constitution; but also other issues such as the electoral system, the representation of Federal Member States in the Upper House, the powers of the President and the Prime Minister, the judiciary, or the status of Mogadishu as the federal capital.
The Foundation will continue supporting the three constitutional review entities on their work through the provision of technical and legal advice. This support is an important component of the project “Legal Capacity Building and Technical Support for the Somali Federal Parliament”, which is generously funded by the European Union.