Six political parties have united under the umbrella of the forum for national parties (FNP). This is a step in the right direction that will contribute to the process of political democratization of Somalia with the goal of safeguarding the sovereignty, unity and independence of the republic of Somalia
As stipulated by article 3 (4) of the provisional federal constitution, the forum for national parties (FNP) is committed for the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, general standards of international law, justice, participatory consultative and inclusive government, and the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and an independent judiciary, in order to ensure accountability, efficiency and responsiveness to the interests of the people
Moreover, as enshrined in article 11(1) of the provisional federal constitution, the forum for national parties (FNP) believes in that; All citizens, regardless of sex, social or economic status, political opinion, clan, disability, occupation, or dialect shall have equal rights and duties before the law.
In retrospect of the current political trends, in which the president and the executive branch of the government have blatantly violated basic principles of the constitution and other laws of the country; the forum for national parties is concerned on the continuous gross violations of the constitution and the contempt of the supremacy of the law by the current administration, which impede the transition to inclusive governance. In essence, the forum for national parties strongly expresses that adherence to the constitution is paramount in the transition to stable and democratic Somalia, and that the FGS leaders must respect the rule of law and the supremacy of the provisional federal constitution – the forum for national parties (FNP) is committed in giving its priority on the protection and promotion of these basic rights that are fundamental for stable and democratic Somalia.
1. The Unity of the nation and its people
The sovereignty and unity of the country is supreme and shall not be compromised. The FNP strives and stands for the protection and promotion of the unity of Somalia and urges the FGS to genuinely reengage talks with the Somaliland leadership in accordance with the federal constitution
2. The supremacy of the constitution and completion of the review process
Cognizant, that the provisional federal constitution is the supreme law of the land and agreed upon by all Somalis- and that all government institutions perform their functions in accordance with the provisional federal constitution. Hence, the executive branch is entrusted to adhere to, protect and complete the constitutional review process. FNP is concerned of the blatant violations of the constitution by the executive branch. The failure of the executive branch of the government to adhere to the provisions in the constitution reflects the view of the executive branch that doesn’t believe in the supremacy of the constitution.
The FNP is committed to play an integral role in ensuring the constitution review process is completed and that it is agreed upon by all political stakeholder before it is ratified through public referendum. The finalized constitution must be one that holds together the Somali people forever and ends the transition period.
3. Safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens
The FNP is committed to the promotion and protection of basic rights and freedoms of citizens as enshrined in the federal constitution and pertinent international laws. FNP strongly opposes any form of coercion and abuse of authority by the government against its citizens. Such violations are unconstitutional and will not be tolerated. The FNP beliefs in the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens including; the right to form and belong to organizations, including trade unions and political parties; freedom of expression includes freedom of speech, and freedom of the media, including all forms of electronic and web-based media; the right to freely express their artistic creativity, knowledge, and information gathered through research; the right to organize and participate in meetings, and to demonstrate and protest peacefully, without requiring prior authorization; the right to freedom of movement
4. Inclusive Politic, Equal representation
As stipulated by article 1 (1) of the provisional federal constitution that “Somalia is a federal, sovereign, and democratic republic founded on inclusive representation of the people, a multiparty system and social justice.” And consistent with articles 48, 51, and 120 of the federal constitution; that in the Federal Republic of Somalia, the state is composed of two levels of government, and consistent with article 47 of the provisional federal constitution and law number 19- the political parties law ratified by parliament on June 27, 2016
Considering these constitutional principles, the forum for national parties (FNP) strongly reiterates that inclusive politics, and inclusive representation are central in realizing for one person one vote election to be held in 2020/2021. The FNP firmly believes that discussions and decision pertaining to 2020/2021 elections require political agreement among all stakeholders including FMS, FGS, Political parties and civil society organizations (CSO). A fair and transparent election can only take place with the full participation and agreement of
all political stakeholders, and anything short of that will compromise the validity and acceptability of its outcome.
In order to strive for a fair and transparent election in 2020/2021, the forum for national parties (NFP) calls upon the national independent electoral commission to be apolitical and independent of the executive branch- and NIEC should distance itself of any political influence from the executive branch of the government, its mandate shall embody and reflect the spirit of human rights, democracy and transparency, as stipulated by articles 110 and 111G of the provisional federal constitution. FNP genuinely believes in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation among the political stakeholders to ensure inclusivity and equal representation in order to realize a fair and transparent election
5. 2020/2021 Election
If we can learn anything from the history of election in Somalia, in the past two elections, elections were held on time without any term extension and transfer of power took place peacefully, such display of political maturity enhances the transition to democratization and good governance and contributes to the state building process. Any effort put forth to get term extension will be unconstitutional and will reverse the hard-won gains by previous governments. It will damage the public confidence and will stall the transition from fragility to democracy. Therefore, it is unacceptable that the current leadership to whom our nascent democracy is entrusted to constantly undermine it, by betraying the confidence of the Somali people in their government, and abusing its authority and in the process unravelling the state building progress made under previous governments.
Therefore, the forum for national parties (FNP) strives for and is committed to realize 2020/2021 elections take place on time and in accordance with the federal constitution. FNP warns the FGS to take steps that will undermine the election process to get term extension. FNP will not accept any term extension beyond the constitutionally mandated term. FNP will consider term extension as an impediment to the transition to state building and a departure from the political culture of previous government that has seen the transfer of power democratically and peacefully.
6. Protecting, preserving and Strengthening the federal system
As stated in article 3 (3) of the federal constitution “The Federal Republic of Somalia is founded upon the fundamental principles of power sharing in a federal system”. Therefore, the FGS must adhere to the provisions in the constitutions in enhancing and strengthening the system of federalism; the FGS must initiate a genuine working relationship with the FMS based on cooperation and consensus as explicitly expressed in article 50, 51, 52, 53 and 120 of the federal constitution.
The FNP welcomes any effort undertaken to strengthen and enhance federalism and the core foundational principles built around the system of federalism. FNP calls the revival of the stalled talks between the two levels of government, and to reopen a political space for debate
on national political issues and to reach national political agreement on contentious pertinent issues before the FGS’s mandate expires in February 2021. Important issue to be debated in by the two levels of government include;
➢ The relationship between the two levels of government- FGS and FMSs
➢ Completion of constitution review process
➢ Election model 2020/2021
➢ Reforming and federalization of the judiciary system
➢ The security transition plan and the transfer of security responsibility from AMISOM to Somali security forces
7. On the Security Sector
As explicitly expressed in articles 126 and 127 of the provisional federal constitution the armed forces must be independent and display a political neutrality when performing their duties. The armed forces of the Federal Republic of Somalia have the mandate to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the country and to defend its territorial integrity. The security forces shall serve and protect citizens. The forum for national parties (FNP) strongly opposes the Somali security forces to be used for;
➢ The suppression of political dissent and narrowing down political space to express their political views and programs.
➢ The suppression and extrajudicial acts such as detention and coercion against independent media.
➢ The restrictions imposed on the public through road closures and installed checkpoints to limit on the free movement of people including traders, labourers, and students.
➢ The detention and imprisonment of citizen without due process and holding them in detention for months.
The forum for national parties (FNP) urges the FGS to halt immediately the enlisting of new recruits for security forces in contravention of legitimate army recruitment procedures.
8. Representation for Banadir Regional Administration:
Cognizant of the fact that the headquarter of capital city of Somalia is in Banadir region, and that major national institutions are headquartered in Banadir, the forum for national parties (FNP) welcomes and thanks the residents of Banadir region on the integral role they have played in the state building process. Their financial contribution through taxation remains the only sources of domestic revenue for the FGS, the second source of revenue for the FGS is external revenue from the international community.
The forum for national parties (FNP) condemns in the strongest terms the continues adversities exposed to residents of Banadir region, the blatant violations of their rights due to restriction on their movement as a result of road closures. Restricting and limiting their movement is a clear violation of their rights under the provisional federal constitution. The
restrictions on their movement also have impacted their businesses, while many have sustained substantial decline of their income, many other were forced to close their businesses as it is no longer profitable. Many others were the victims of Al-Shabab attacks and the FGS have failed in provisioning them needed security services despite road closures and installed checkpoints throughout the city.
The forum for national parties strongly believes Banadir region is relatively at a disadvantaged position in terms of political representation at the district council level and at federal level, as it lacks representation at the upper house of the parliament in violation of article 72 of the provisional federal constitution
Radio Dalsan Reporter