Former PM Criticizes Somalia’s Constitutional Amendments Process

Published: March 24, 2024

Mogadishu, Somalia (Horseed Media) – Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, who twice served as the prime minister of Somalia, has sharply criticized the way President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government is handling amendments to the country’s constitution.

In a post on his blog X, Sharmarke accused the federal government of pushing for a new constitution without proper consultation and consensus from the people.

The federal government of Somalia is pushing for a new constitution knowing that it is lacking in general acceptability among the people,” he wrote. “The 11th Parliament, which is under pressure, may pass the new version of the proposed constitution, but it is not based on national consultation.”

Omar Sharma’arke

Sharmarke argued that while the interim constitution went through a wide consultative process, the current efforts to complete constitutional reforms lack legitimacy due to insufficient public input and consensus-building.

“It is possible that the system of the President & one constituency model is passed to the parliament with the motto of completing the constitution. But the crux of the matter is that its legitimacy requires a broad consensus, and that does not come from merely going through the parliament,” he stated.

President Mohamud, however, has defended the constitutional process, saying he did not negotiate on completing the constitution despite accusations that it was incomplete and that he changed elements agreed upon earlier.

The debate over Somalia’s constitutional amendments comes as the country continues its efforts to establish a permanent and broadly accepted governing framework after decades of civil conflict and political instability.