Somalia collects views on proposed new constitution

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More than 70 scholars, legal experts and political scientists ended a three-day outreach forum in Mogadishu on Thursday evening to galvanize support for the adoption of a new constitution of Somalia.

The participants, who also include representatives of the youth, women, elders and persons with disabilities, called for Somalia’s constitution to guarantee rights of all citizens.

Minister of Constitutional Affairs Salah Ahmed Jama expressed hope that there will be a national forum to review all the feedback received from members of the public after the national elections are over.

“What is remaining for the completion of this process is dialogue. It is for the leaders to converge and agree in order for the constitutional review process to be completed,” Jama said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

“Such public consultations are critical. This is why we keep coming back to you for your views and recommendations so that they are captured into the final document,” he added.

The United Nations-backed event is part of an ongoing nationwide outreach campaign that will enable citizens to contribute to the constitution-making process.

The campaign events will be held in Baidoa, Jowhar, Dhusamareb, Kismayo and Garowe towns across Somalia.

Abdikani Ali Adan, public outreach director at the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, noted that the people of Mogadishu have shown a huge interest in safeguarding their rights by keenly participating in the constitutional review process.

“I especially urge the youth and women to remain engaged in the review process. We hope that this process will deliver a permanent constitution that helps to bring peace and prosperity to our country,” Adan said.

Discussed during the three-day forum were some of the contentious articles contained in the provisional constitution.

These include articles on justice, representation, power-sharing, the status of Mogadishu and fiscal federalism.

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