Somalia: MPs table President impeachment motion

1Members of the Somali Federal Parliament have filed a no-confidence motion against President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, accusing him of violating the constitution.

The 9-paged motion was handed over to the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday evening by a group of Parliamentarians after meeting the requirements of the number of MPs to table in a motion.

According to reports, the no-confidence motion was signed by a total of 115-MPs.

Somali legislators have accused the President of rampant corruption, political nepotism and incompetence since he came to power in 2012.

‘’We have been preparing this motion for the last six months and we believe that there is no other way of solving what is going on in the Presidential office,’’ said MP Abdi Hosh.

Impeaching the President would require the submission of a notice signed by not less than one third of the Parliament eligible to vote to the speaker of Parliament for the process to get underway.

But obtaining the minimum number of 125 signatures will be a massive boost for the MPs.

“The honourable members of the house are going to debate the motion seeking a vote of confidence for the President of the Somali Federal Republic, H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud,” said former Labourers and Youth adviser of the Somali president Ahmed Ibrahim Artan (Ahmed H Bakiin)

He added, “The parliament will debate the proposal on Monday, 17th of August.”

Last year, Somali MPs called for the President to step down after failing to address growing insecurity. It is understood that the President managed to divide the lawmakers who had moved to table a no-confidence motion against him.

Members of the Somali Federal Parliament have today submitted an Impeachment Motion against the President of the Somali Federal Republic, H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to the Somali Federal Parliament. The number of Parliamentarians who signed the Impeachment Motion surpasses the threshold number of one third of members, required under the Provisional Constitution of Somalia.

We have come to this decisive decision after a six-month broad and sustained consultations among parliamentarians, and with various stakeholders relevant in the political process of Somalia, and after considering alternative corrective measures. During these consultative meetings, it has come to our attention that our country is bleeding politically, financially, morally and ethically because of the poor leadership of the President, the corrupt practices of his office and that of his cronies, the flagrant contravention of the constitution and abuse of power. The Impeachment motion against the President is anchored around the following reasons:

1. In 2014, the President signed a Decree authorizing executions of civilians tried in military courts. Military courts are prohibited from trying civilian cases under the Provisional Constitution of Somalia and the President does not have any authority to legislate laws.

2. The President has repeatedly usurped the Executive Authority from successive Prime Ministers during the past three years. In Article 97 of the Constitution, it is explicitly pointed out that the Executive authority of the government is vested in the Council of Ministers. It is this illegal usurpation of Executive authority that has diverted successive governments from attending to their crucial policy and legislative agenda, and caused gridlock and inertia in government.

3. The President and his cronies have engaged in massive and shameless documentable corruption during the past three years. They have signed international contracts with foreign companies without obtaining approval from parliament, and under dubious procurement processes. The latest such example is the shady contract that the government signed with SOMA OIL AND GAS in 2013 without approval by parliament. SOMA OIL is a company that was registered a mere six months before it was awarded the contract involving valuable extractive resources and it is now under investigation by the SFO of Britain for fraud. Additionally, according to the Auditor General, millions of dollars missing from the treasury are unaccounted for.

4. The President and other officials close to him are implicated in gross human rights violations of citizens ranging from Extra Judicial Executions, illegal detentions, torture and the forceful displacement of IDPS in order to convert the squatted land into Real Estate for private fraudulent gain.

5. Intentional failure to complete the legislative and structural requirements for ending the transition towards elections in 2016. The President has on record owned up to the fact that there cannot be an election in 2016.

6. Failure to improve security, especially when the president dominates the security sector. The President and his cronies have expended security resources on the harassment and detentions of political dissidents and members of the media instead of targeting these valuable resources on real threats to national security. Additionally, because of the rampant corruption, the police and other security forces have not been salaries for seven months, a sad fact, which can potentially contribute to greater insecurity.

7. Continuing interference with the independence of the Constitutionally mandated national Independent Commissions and also the Judiciary.

Since our primary role as parliamentarians is oversight of government institutions and since our government is based on a constitutional foundation and not on Monarchic order, it is incumbent upon us to introduce a modicum of accountability into our institutions and we believe that this motion constitutes the beginning of a noble cause. We inform the Somali public that we shall manage this difficult transition in a responsible manner, and we advise the international community to respect the independence of Somali institutions, especially the Somali parliament that has time and again demonstrated that it can resolve political crisis responsibly.

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Reeb Fariin

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