Somali president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed speaks at a joint news conference with UN special envoy Dr Augustine Mahiga at the president's official residence in Mogadishu August 22, 2012. Photo: Somaliweyn.
Somali Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the UN Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador Augustine Mahiga have once again held a meeting to discuss the fate of those who were exempted from the list of the new parliamentarians who were blamed to have had criminal records. President Sharif causioned over accusing anyone who hasn’t been convicted of crimes in a court of law.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Ambassador Mahiga and President Sharif want some members previously exempted to be included in the list of the new parliamentarians. In spite of Somalia successfully forming a new parliament, there is still a row regarding the individuals rejected by the Technical Selection Committee (TSC). Out of the 275 legislatures required for a full house, only over 200 were selected and proposals for some 50 individuals were rejected by the TSC.
As a result of the exemption, the traditional elders refused to re-select new members to be included in the list of the new legislatures. The elders and President Sharif believe that everyone has the right to be included in the list. After their meeting, Ambassador Mahiga and President Sharif held a joint press conference expressing their stand on the matter.
“The elders have the right to select anyone they find fit and there should be no targeted exemptions,” president Sharif said while seemed to have taken firm stand on the matter. “Such exemptions will create unnecessary tension which we cannot afford to have in the present situation. This will derail the peace process that was hard-earned,” he added.
On the other hand, Ambassador Mahiga seemed impartial on the matter. “We had meetings with the traditional elders and TSC and we are working to resolve the matter,” he said. Analysts say the new parliament is full of competent personalities who can turn the waves in favour of a peaceful Somalia. The credibility and reputation of the new parliament largely depends on how transparent the election of the speaker of the parliament will be discussing during their meeting.