Mogadishu, July 30, 2012. The National Constituent Assembly continues to unfold smoothly as 825 Somali citizens from all walks of life discuss and debate the draft Somali Constitution.
The formal opening of the National Constituent Assembly took place on Wednesday, July 25, representing a significant milestone in the path towards a new constitution for the Somali people. On Day 1, the delegates were addressed by the President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government, amongst other notable personalities and speakers. Somali musicians and actors were able to contribute their artistic talents as well. The opening ceremony was attended by diplomats including United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General, Dr. Augustine Mahiga and ambassadors from Djibouti, League of Arab States, Turkey, Ethiopia, IGAD, and the African Union, amongst others.
On the second and third days, the delegates reviewed the rules of procedure, the entire constitutional process and the task lying ahead of them. Also, the constitution was read by eminent Somali personalities.
On Days 4, 5 and 6 of the National Constituent Assembly, the delegates were separated into 10 thematic breakout groups, made up of approximately 80 delegates each, to facilitate debate and discussion. The delegates have been vigorously debating the provisions of the draft constitution, in some cases making recommendations of changes to be delivered to the new parliament.
The National Constituent Assembly will continue for another three days – on Day 8, the delegates will vote on adoption. A positive vote from the National Constituent Assembly will turn the draft into the Provisional Constitution of Somalia. It will remain provisional until the government can organize a national referendum to give each Somali man and woman the opportunity to vote on the Somali constitution.
The National Constituent Assembly has been visited on Sunday July 29 by Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, as well as numerous ministers, who have commended the delegates and all the teams for their hard work and dedication and for their contribution to the Somali future. Today, the Norwegian representative to Somalia Jann-Peter Holtedahl addressed the plenary session, extending his country’s good wishes and highlighting the historic nature of this assembly.
Diraac Salaad Fagaase