Gurmad Press Release on recent appointments

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan


On the recent appointments of members of national commissions

Minneapolis MN. May 11, 2015 – The Gurmad Movement commends the Council of Ministers of the federal government for the appointment, on May 7, 2015, of members of three important and constitutionally-mandated national commissions: the Judicial Services Commission, the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission.

Gurmad, which issued a Communiqué on March 26, 2015 calling for the immediate appointment of the members of these and other commissions, sees these appointments as a long-overdue yet a positive step in the implementation of the mandates of the Provisional Constitution. By the same token, Gurmad expresses its profound concern regarding alleged conflict of interest and the lack of transparency of the vetting process as well as the constitutionally questionable methods by which these members were selected.

That said, in order to ensure the effectiveness of these crucial appointments, Gurmad urges the Federal Parliament to take the following remedial steps:

  1. Properly exercise its oversight role and discharge its sacred public trust by thoroughly vetting, under the applicable national laws and ethical standards, the qualifications and character of the appointees to these commissions to determine their fitness for the positions to which they were appointed. The parliament must seek documentation and other evidence of their qualifications. It must hold public parliamentary confirmation hearings, including introduction of expert testimony, and engage in substantive debates (and not merely a wholesale voting by the usual show of hands) during these proceedings;
  1. If confirmed, members of these commissions must move quickly to discharge their duties with a sense of urgency and integrity. Moreover, the government and the parliament must ensure and respect the independence and legal status of these commissions and facilitate their works by providing them with the resources needed to perform their respective duties. In particular, the parliament must conduct and maintain an ongoing oversight regime and evaluation of the performance of these commissions;
  1. To resolve the inevitable inter-departmental disputes within the federal government or between the federal government and members states, and to adjudicate the conflicts among these independent commissions, Gurmad emphasizes the urgent and immediate need for the formation of the Constitutional Court in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions.

Once again, Gurmad reminds our leaders that time is of the essence. Appointing commission members is not, in of itself, and end; it is simply means to an end. By merely appointing these members, the federal government is not, by any means, absolved of its solemn responsibility to ensure that these commissions accomplish their respective missions.

Gurmad reminds the government and the parliament to coordinate their efforts in establishing all the constitutionally mandated institutions with a sense of urgency so that the 2016 election and transitions could take place within the legal and constitutional frameworks rather than through an unconstitutional process manipulated by a few political figures/signatories or foreign actors for their own selfish interests.

Gurmad is a political movement made of Somalis in the Diaspora and homeland. Following its recent press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC, and as part of its mission of informing the political process in Somalia, Gurmad is currently planning a major grassroots conference to be held on May 23 through 25, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio, USA with the aim of framing a Somali-owned roadmap for 2016 election and political transitions.