Somalia: MPs Decry Govt Intervention on Parliament Session, Vow to Hold Ministers Accountable

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Saturday September 09, 2017 - 17:55:05 in Latest News by
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    Somalia: MPs Decry Govt Intervention on Parliament Session, Vow to Hold Ministers Accountable

    MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — Members of Somalia's National Assembly vowed to hold the government accountable hours after lawmakers' gathering failed to resume on Saturday due to lack of quorum to make the proceedings.

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Members of Somalia National Assembly during previous session. | File photo.
MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — Members of Somalia's National Assembly vowed to hold the government accountable hours after lawmakers' gathering failed to resume on Saturday due to lack of quorum to make the proceedings.
The Saturday's House session was scheduled to kick off after MPS returned from their Haj break in August.  The session had very sensitive agenda about the transfer of Abdikarim Qalbi Dhagah, a member of Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] who was handed over to Ethiopia by the Federal Government of Somalia through cabinet of the ministers' endorsement.
"Today is very sad day. We wake up this morning with many key roads in the capital blocked by the security forces. This forced lawmakers to skip to come to the parliament while some took hours to report to the parliament." MP Mahad Mohamed Salad said.
He attributed the closure of the roads as government plan to disrupt the parliament session which is critical against the cabinet.
"It was planned, they want to force MPs not to come here and instil fear, so MPs will be afraid to maintain their duties." MP Salad adds.
Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari was unable to open the session after the secretariat failed to get the signature of the minimum number of the members of House required to be present at the session, which is two thirds of the 275 lawmakers of the National Assembly.
The Speaker gave oral warning to some lawmakers who are also members of the cabinet of the ministers who reported to the parliament on Saturday but opted not to sign the attendance book.
"We shall give them a written warning this time according to Article 35th of parliamentary bylaw." he said.
On Wednesday, the cabinet issued a statement justifying the transfer of Qalbi dhagah as legal and put his group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) into the terrorist list.
DEBATE AGAINST CABINET
Members of the National Assembly opposed the cabinet statement and vowed to table a motion against the cabinet to hold the government accountable over breaching the laws of the land.
Lawmaker Anab Hassan Ilmi says, it is the rights of the MPs to debate the transfer case of Qalbi Dhagah on behalf of the public.
"We as lawmakers represent the citizens. Somali people want to hear from us about the case of Abdikarim Qalbi Dhagah. We are feeling the government is interfering our democratic rights." Mrs Anab added.
Mr. Mohamed Omar Dalha faulted the Speaker for not taking quick disciplinary action against the lawmakers who did not sign the attendance book and called the chair to prevent further disruptions of the house proceedings.
"I heard the Speaker saying that he was giving warning to the MPs who did not sign, but we did not hear any action. We are waiting to see action." Mr Dalha, former deputy Speaker said.
The transfer of Abdikarim Qalbi Dhagah, a Somali citizen and member of ONLF late last month has brought public outrage and ensued members of the parliament to vow to table a motion against the cabinet, and sources say that should the Saturday's session be held successfully, MPs would have ousted the cabinet which could have forced President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to seek new Prime Minister and new cabinet.
Anyhow, the lawmakers are saying they will re-schedule the session within early next week.

- SOMALI UPDATE ONLINE -



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