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Draft constitution ready, says Somalia prime minister
A woman waits to welcome back Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport on March 11, 2012 from a visit to Kenya. Dr Ali has said a draft constitution is now ready, edging the country
 towards a new permanent government. PHOTO | AFP |

Africa Review
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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Somalia's prime minister has said that a draft constitution has been finalised, bring to a near end an eight-year search for an acceptable document and edging the strife-torn country towards a permanent government.    

The readiness of the draft constitution signifies that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is close to being replaced by a permanent, constitution-based one.

In an official statement released Monday, Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said that the draft drawn by the Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC) and the Committee of Experts (CoE) had been in conformity with charter stipulations, roadmap timelines and the principles agreed at a ley meeting in Garowe.

"The efforts of the TFG and the IFCC and the CoE was a culmination of eight years of sustained concentration on the constitutional making process, marred by failures, setbacks and successes," said the statement.

"In 2004, it was agreed through the provisions of the then new Charter that a crucial priority of ending the transitional arrangements was to complete a Federal Constitution based on equity, fairness and justice," it added.

Dr Ali's government at the beginning of its mandate laid out its constitutional agenda through a roadmap signed on September 6, 2011.

One of its key benchmarks was the completion of a draft constitution by April 20 this year.

"It is with certain pride that I announce that a key benchmark task of the Roadmap has been achieved on time and I want to thank the Somali public who through public participations made passionate contributions to the document, the IFCC and the CoE who placed the public interest before their private interests," said the premier.

He recognised the "ministers of the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and Reconciliation, my staff and also our technical partners in the international community for making this important milestone a reality."

The draft law was in compliance with Sharia law, he said, adding that it would give Somalis an orderly society and control of its aspirations as a nation.

The draft constitution will be presented to the National Constituent Assembly for adoption on May 15 as agreed to in the roadmap and under the Garowe Principles.

The assembly comprising 825 delegates from a cross section of Somali society will consider the draft constitution for two weeks and then vote on its provisional ratification.

The prime minister emphasised that a positive vote from the assembly would turn the draft into the Provisional Constitution of Somalia. 



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