IGAD threatens sanctions over Somali parliament’s stalemate

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - East African foreign ministers warned Tuesday they could invoke regional sanctions against some Somali parliamentarians for attempting to “destroy the foundations of Somalia’s political stability”.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers said Tuesday the nomination of a new Somali parliamentary speaker was likely to lead to sanctions against the “spoilers” of the country’s peace process.

Somalia’s parliament has been embroiled in crisis since a vote of no confidence was passed against Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who was visiting Italy when the voting took place in parliament.

A new Speaker, Madobe Nunow, was subsequently elected, but Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has dismissed the vote.

The Speaker's post is critical under the current political dispensation in Somalia, because the Speaker is mandated to chair a special parliamentary sitting to elect a new President, until a direct vote is held in the Horn of African nation.

According to the rules governing the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament, the oldest parliamentarian in the House is tasked with the responsibility of chairing the session to elect the new Speaker, in case of a vacancy.

However, the new political plan in Somalia, known as the Kampala Accord, shields the Speaker and the President from flimsy votes of no confidence until fresh elections are carried out in June for the Speaker and in August for the Presidency.

“It goes counter to the spirit and the letter of the Transitional Federal Charter which is the basis of the country’s law,” IGAD said in a statement.

The ministers said the MPs who took part in the election of the new Speaker have played similar roles in past elections, which are illegal under the Somali law.

“The Council of Ministers of IGAD has been following their activities with the hope that they will in due course fully reform and become strong advocates of peace,” the IGAD statement said. “The Ministers find such behaviour unacceptable and it is a lack of appreciation to those who are continuing to sacrifice their lives for the peace and stability in Somalia.”

IGAD rejected the nomination of the new Speaker, saying it would lead to the “demolition of the foundation” on which the current administration stands since the establishment of the parliament in 2004 in Nairobi, and urged all parties to enter into dialogue in order to resolve the disputes peacefully.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 10Jan2012

10 janvier 2012 18:09:26




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