Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – A group of Somali politicians Wednesday rose from three days of negotiations here, agreeing on a tight timeline to hold elections and ratify the country's draft constitution before the current transitional government ends in August.
At the end of the negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Premier Abdiweli Mohammad Ali, Speaker of the Transitional Parliament, Sharif Hassen Sheikh Aden, President of the semi-autonomous Puntland State, Abdurahman Mohammad Mahmud, leader of the Ahlal Suna Wla-Jama’a (ASWJ), Khalid Abdulaqadir, President of the lesser known Galmudug State, Mohammed Ahmed Alin, as well as the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, signed the deal aimed at ending the transitional period.
“Discussions were serious and fruitful...ultimately the signatories proved they are ready to end the transition on time and to take Somalia to the next level,” said Prime Minister Abdiweli before signing the agreement.
The 16-point agreement focuses on revising what is known among Somali, politicians and international actors as Garowe I and II as well as the Galkae Consultations – three major roadmaps meant to lead the Horn of African state from what has been an endless transition period in place since 2004 to a stable government by 20 August, 2012.
It includes a tight timeline towards electing another parliament and ratifying a constitution in a matter of months.
According to the agreement, this important business cannot take place now because the structure of the current parliament is not capable of handling it.
Accordingly, the first point on the agreement authorizes the President to issue a “presidential decree, to steer the constitutional process towards the adoption stage and to end the transition”.
Speaking after the signing, AU’s high representative to Somalia, former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, urged the signatories to remain loyal to the deal.
-0- PANA OR/VAO 23May2012