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Somalia

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The Transitional Federal Parliament of the Republic of Somalia (Somali: Golaha Shacabka Federaalka Kumeelgaarka ee Jamhuuriyada Soomaaliya; often Baarlamaanka Federaalka Soomaaliya) is an interim Parliament of Somalia formed in neighbouring Kenya in 2004.

The Transitional Federal Parliament has 450 members respresenting Somalia's clans, Islamist opposition, representatives of citizens' groups and the Somali diaspora. Sharif Sheikh Ahmed assumed the presidency of the Transitional Federal Government on January 31, 2009. The government, aided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), is currently at war with the Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen Islamist insurgent group.

Contents

Overview

The Transitional Federal Parliament had 275 members, with each of Somalia's four major clans getting 61 seats in the parliament, while an alliance of minority clans was awarded 31 seats. The Charter also dictates that at least 12% of the Parliament shall be women (Article 29).

The composition was changed as part of the meeting to elect a new president in late January 2009; the size of the parliament was doubled to include 200 representatives from the Islamist opposition and 75 reprentatives of citizens' groups and diaspora representatives.[1]

One of the formal de jure powers vested in the Parliament according to the Transitional Federal Charter (Article 5) is the governance and administration of Mogadishu as the capital city. However, in actuality this power de facto lies in the hands of particular warlords, many of whom are also members of parliament. De facto the state is in anomie with only loose governmental structures.

On February 26, 2006 the parliament first met inside Somalia, in the city of Baidoa, 260 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu. 210 lawmakers of the 275-member parliament met in a grain warehouse temporarily converted into a meeting hall.[2] For this reason the Transitional Federal Government is also sometimes referred to as simply the "Baidoa Government".

The Parliament as the legislative branch formed the executive branch, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Republic of Somalia (Dowalada Federaalka Ku Meel gaarka ah ee Jamhuuriyada Soomaaliya) by electing Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as president of Somalia in 2004.[3] He appointed a cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi.

The Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP), Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) collectively comprise the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI) of the new Somali government. The TFG is the successor to the Transitional National Government (TNG) of 20002004.[4 ]

On 27 November 2008 the government and the rebelling Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia agreed to expand the parliament to double its current size, with 200 seats reserved for the Islamist opposition and 75 for civil society groups. The newly expanded parliament will then elect a new president, who will then propose a new PM to form a new government including the Islamist opposition.[5][6]

Leaders of Parliament

Position Current or latest known officer
Speaker Sheikh Adan Madobe (elected January 21, 2007)[7 ]
Deputy Speaker Osman Elmi Boqore[7 ]

The first speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament was Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan from September 15, 2004 to January 17, 2007.

Clan representation

"The 4.5 formula" was developed at the last peace conference in Nairobi in the early 2000s. It gives equal quotas for representation in government to the four major clans, and a half-point to the fifth, the cluster of minority clans.[8]

The four "major" clans are the Hawiye, Rahanweyn, Dir and Darod. The "minor" fifth clan, called "the fifth", includes, but is not limited to, other ethnically Somali clans such as Midgan, Tumal, and Yibir, and other non-ethnically Somali people, such as Eyle, Bantu (Jareerweyne), Reer Hamar Reer Awxasan, Bravanese and other Benadiri people, and Bajuni.[9]

The transitional Somali parliament has 275 representatives. Thus each major clan has 61 seats and the minor clans have 31 seats to share among themselves. This formula has been widely condemned as being unfair and ineffective by both the intellectual and religious Somali communities.

List of Parliamentarians

Islamic sharia as basis of national law

Chapter 2 of the Transitional Federal Charter defines Islam as the national religion and sharia law as the basis of national legislation (Article 8).

Chapter 9 of the Charter defines the scope and powers of the federal judiciary. Until its broader adoption, many de facto decisions were or still are made by local tribal meetings, or, during 2006, by the sharia courts organized by the Islamic Courts Union.

History

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Republic of Somalia has had a tumultuous history. It is the most recent attempt to restore national institutions to Somalia after the 1991 downfall of Siad Barre and the ensuing Somali Civil War. The country has been run for more than a decade by tribal factions and warlords.

Human rights violations

According to the HRW, during the 2007 battle of Mogadishu, TFG forces failed to provide effective warnings when alerting civilians of impending military operations. Like the Ethiopian military, it participated in widespread pillaging and looting of civilian property. The TFG forces interfered with the delivery of humanitarian assistance and in some instances directly attacked humanitarian personnel. Also, it was reported that it committed mass arrests and mistreatment of persons in custody. [10]

See also

Notes

External links

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