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Global partners urge Somali leaders to build unity amid political tensions over new political system

MOGADISHU- Somalia’s international partners urged stakeholders in the country’s political system on Sunday evening to redouble their efforts to reach an agreement through an inclusive process amid political tensions.

Political tensions rose after the two houses of parliament approved four chapters of its constitution on Saturday, paving the way for a new political system in the country.

Hours after parliament approved the amendment, Somalia’s northeastern semiautonomous state of Puntland rejected constitutional amendments, threateneing to cut ties with the central government.

The vote on Saturday was held despite widespread opposition from opposition leaders, including former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Belgium, Denmark, Djibouti, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Kenya, League of Arab States (LAS), Norway, Sudan, Sweden, Türkiye, UK, US, and US said in a joint statement that they applaud Mogadishu’s efforts to ensure Somalia’s compliance with international and regional human rights obligations, including children’s rights.

“We look forward to future cooperation with Somalia as it consolidates its role in the international arena,” the joint statement said, adding that it also acknowledges the government’s firm intention to make “progress on finalizing the Constitution and urge all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to build consensus through an inclusive process.”

The statement comes a day after the parliament approved four chapters, including freedom of expression, women’s representation, and a leadership system.

The new system will give Somalia three national political parties and allow citizens to directly elect the head of state, who will also appoint and remove the prime minister.

The current constitution only allows the president to appoint the prime minister, but parliament has the authority to remove him.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared the parliamentary vote, as well as the overhaul of the country’s electoral system and the reintroduction of universal suffrage, to be “historic” for Somalia.

Mohamud also signed the amended Chapters of the Constitution on Sunday following their approval by lawmakers from the lower house or the Federal Parliament and House of the People, which the government described as a “milestone” that marks a critical step toward democracy, equality, and stronger government institutions in Somalia.

Source: AA

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