In May, the signing of a transition framework for Somalia established numerous deadlines the country must meet as leaders craft a new government:
- By June 20, Somalia must assemble a National Constituent Assembly whose members will meet in Mogadishu by June 30.
- By July 10, Somalia must adopt a new constitution.
- By July 20, Somalia must swear in a new parliament with 225 members selected by elders.
- On August 4, the parliament will elect a speaker and deputy speaker.
- These MPs will then elect the next president by August 20.
So far, the constitution has been partially approved in the following manner:
Somali leaders on Friday approved the draft constitution. The president, prime minister and four other leaders signed the document at a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said the constitutional is only provisional until Somali citizens can vote on it. The country’s security situation doesn’t yet allow for such a nation-wide vote.
This piece by Mohamed Ali Hassan and Manuela Melandri provides a critical appraisal of the constitution and the major tensions surrounding its key planks. They write that the Constituent Assembly must now approve the constitution.
Also this week, sitting President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed declared his intention to contest the August election. His campaign will likely emphasize the government’s recent victories against the rebel movement al Shabab and argue that continuity is best for security. An analyst quoted by VOA says that the President may face off against former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
On to the Constituent Assembly’s approval of the constitution and the election of a new parliament. The question, as before, is not only whether Somalia can meet its deadlines, but also whether the way in which those deadlines reduces or exacerbates political tensions in the country.