Gurmad Statement on the Foreign Imposed 2016 Consultative Project for Somalia



Somalia has reached a critical moment in the development of processes for political transition in 2016. A so-called Somali National Consultative Forum convened on the 19th and 20th of October, 2015 in Mogadishu to discuss the 2016 electoral process. Through this “Consultative” project, foreign elements hijacked, both politically and technically, the constitutional prerogative of the Somali parliament and that of the Independent Electoral Commission using a few self-serving Somali political actors.

In the past, Gurmad declared that there is no ethical, legal or political justification for the so-called ”Consultative” process; for such endeavor would be nothing more than further derailment of the already frail Somali institutions, not to mention waste of resources. Gurmad, instead, called for reforms that could include constitutional, legislative, operational and institutional aspects as well as accountability mechanisms. It also urged the parliament to, among other things; pass an interim electoral law to replace the previous ad hoc and extra-legal tradition of outsourcing Somalia’s political processes to foreign entities.

Because Somalia cannot afford another round of foreign-imposed political experiment that disregards the genuine aspirations of the Somali people and their sovereign rights to self-determination, Gurmad is compelled to make the following declarations:

  1. Gurmad strongly reiterates that Somali parliament, the nation’s primary law-making body, must not cede its inherent authority of making electoral laws to the “outcome” of the so-called “Consultative Forum”, a process crafted and executed by foreign actors who, in contravention of the Somali law, arbitrarily gave a set of pre-determined options or “election models” to hand-picked participants in a few towns in Somalia. Moreover, and in order to prevent the usurpation of its legislative role, the Somali parliament must immediately open debate on electoral laws including party laws. The electoral law should clarify and provide for a legal framework within which the Independent Electoral Commission can manage a transitional administration of power transfer for 2016 within the constitutional calendar.
  1. The so-called national “Consultative Forum” is not a constitutionally mandated process and as such, its decisions will be nothing more than gentleman’s agreement. Gurmad condemns the “Consultative Forum” as a replication of the Signatories of the Transitional Roadmap process in 2012 and, once again, demands Somali leaders involved in these illegal processes and their foreign backers to refrain from usurping the legal authority of the institution of parliament and other relevant national institutions.
  1. Gurmad urges the executive branch and regional administrations to respect the institutional autonomy of the independent commissions, especially the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) noting that Article 111G of the Provisional Constitution stipulates that elections in the country should be managed by a national independent electoral commission independent of any interference from the executive. The Article states in pertinent part that “the National Independent Electoral Commission shall be independent of the executive and shall manage its own budget”.
  1. Gurmad acknowledges the slow progress made by the parliament in the past few months with respect to the legislation establishing the constitutional court and the informal discussions about political parties law. Gurmad urges the institution of parliament to discharge its responsibility and pass political parties law as well as the laws establishing the constitutional court and other constitutionally mandated institutions that would guide the process of legally transferring power in 2016. Gurmad remains hopeful that the institution of parliament will be responsive to the demands of Somali citizens. Moreover, Gurmad stands ready to help in preparing the necessary legislation and policy documents and engaging the Somali public should the parliament decide to take the leadership of this important transition process for 2016.
  1. Gurmad condemns the recent clan-based conflict in the town of Galkayo and calls on all sides to end the violence. Gurmad further warns of the spread of Galkayo type conflicts across the country if the Somali people do not reject foreign-imposed political experiments in the name of building federal units or conducting elections.
  1. Gurmad will continue to closely monitor developments on the ground and will present appropriate political agenda to the Somali people should Somali political actors fail to heed the plea of the Somali public for legitimate and meaningful political process by December 31, 2015.

Finally, Gurmad underscores that legitimate transfer of power in 2016 is contingent upon the Somali ownership of the entire process without which all processes would only prove an extravagant charade, at best. The Somali state can only be salvaged when Somalis are awaken; when we collectively work toward genuine reconciliation; when we reclaim our sovereignty and graciously ask our friends to step to the side, when we dispel our foes and all those who wish us ill, and when we confront the dark forces that are mortgaging the future of our nation for their own interest.

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