H.E President Mohamed Farmaajo addresses House of the People: Full Speech

Speech of The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo during the Special Session of the House of the People.
Mogadishu, SATURDAY, 1ST MAY, 2021.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

The Speaker of the House of the People, Hon. Mr. Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman and his deputies,

Honorable Members of the Parliament,

Honorable Members of the Council of Ministers of the Federal Government of Somalia,

H.E. the Governor of Banadir Regional Administration and Mayor of Mogadishu,

Their Excellencies, Chief of Justice and the Attorney General,

Commanders of the Armed Forces, 

Representatives from the Media,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen, 

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuh. 

I am honored to appear before you in this special session today, May 1st, 2021, to brief you on the latest development in the country, and in particular, on the sensitive issues affecting the country’s electoral process. 

I would like to thank you for accepting my request to join you for this special session under the Provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our Somali workers marking International Labor Day, today. You are the engine that powers all the achievements we have been able to reach in recent years. Our government will continue to strengthen its commitment to protecting your fundamental rights as it has maintained in the last four years.    

Honorable Members, 

I want to commend you for your selfless service to this country over the last four years. You have responsibly executed your constitutional legislative obligations. The numerous legislations you passed which I later signed into laws, shall remain the foundation of our country’s governance systems. 

I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to the executive arms of the government and other state institutions that have spent endless efforts in implementing vast reforms impacting the economy, security, the fight against corruption, the armed forces reforms, fight against terrorism, the management, and prevention of natural disasters, restoration of the symbols of Somali nationalism, the protection of the country’s sovereignty and restoring the dignity of our nation at the regional and global stage. 

Indeed, the milestones achieved in the last four years will surely determine and have an impact on the future of our government and the nation. 

Similarly, I would like to also commend our courageous men and women in the forces who have displayed extreme resilience in the face of adverse challenges thus enabling Somalia to reclaim its rightful status on the International stage and in the Horn of Africa. 

It is indeed worth noting that the Somali people have always instilled the spirit of effectiveness, courage, and patriotism in our troops through their support and encouragement. I would like to urge the Somali public to maintain their bond of cooperation with security agencies to realize our common aspirations of a peaceful Somalia, a united Somalia, and a Somalia that can peacefully coexist with its neighbors and the rest of the world. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Legislature is central to the existence of our nation, given the fact that they shoulder the responsibility of protecting and upholding the constitution, playing an oversight role on various branches of government, and approving key laws and other legislations while also 

Therefore, it is paramount for the Parliament to play an active responsibility in all key matters that hold significant value in the future of the country. Moreover, the Parliament must take an active part in resolving contentious circumstances. 

During my tenure, I made it a priority upon myself to ensure that the Legislature exercises its constitutional power and takes a leading role in the governance of our republic. For example, I made sure that all-important agreements reached by the executive branch are brought to the Parliament for deliberation and ratification. In the past, parliament’s role was limited and largely excluded from participating in important decisions that affect the direction of our country. The Parliament that was there before you, was dissolved before the end of their terms to consolidate power in the hands of a few individuals. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

On 28th December 2019, you passed the Law that approved one person one vote thus restoring the democratic constitutional rights to the Somali people and the implementation of universal suffrage in the country. Unfortunately, the implementation of that law was barricaded by those opposing restoration of the power to the Somali people so they can elect their representatives. 

Later, after eight months of negotiations, on 26th September 2020, you subsequently ratified the political agreement towards 2020/2021 indirect elections based on the 17th September 2020 agreement reached by the Federal Government and the Federal Member States. This agreement drove the country towards indirect elections and was a setback to our efforts to advance democracy and good governance in Somalia. 

Unfortunately, the implementation of this agreement suffered setbacks. It took us 6 additional months of constant meetings, private negotiations, and working visits to reach a consensus on its implementation.

On our part, we have always remained committed to organizing free and fair elections per the 17 September 2020 agreement and the recommendations of the 16 February 2021 Baidoa Technical Committee. 

However, we have unable to make progress due to extreme obstacles created by opposing vested interests and foreign-driven influences. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

On 12th April 2021, you passed a special resolution to undertake Federal elections to save the country from further uncertainty. On the second occasion, you chose to give the Somali people the chance to regain their constitutional rights and elect the people they trusted to lead the country. 

This law received strong opposition from two Federal Member states and created a tense atmosphere in the country. Mogadishu became the center for premeditated violence. Thousands of civilians suffered displacement, and their lives and properties were endangered. 

As a government, maintaining the stability of the country has always been our great priority and we have done everything in our power to stop the sounds of gunfire from polluting the soundscape of the city of Mogadishu.

The fact is, we could not risk allowing history to repeat itself. Therefore, we have chosen to prioritize the country’s stability by not allowing external actors to take advantage of the differences between us and destroy our nascent government. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the recent clashes in Mogadishu. These unfortunate events could have been prevented. As a result, we decided to pursue solutions not through the barrel of a gun, but rather through dialogue. We also decided to set an example in maintaining peace and the protection of the most vulnerable members of our society and not to provide an opportunity to those whose desire is to spill the blood of innocent civilians. 

Honorable Members of Parliament,

As I have stated before, the solution to the electoral impasse lies in engaging in honest dialogue while setting aside our differences to protect the safety of our citizens who are already faced with multiple challenges including terrorism, recurring droughts, COVID-19 amongst other social issues. 

The Somali people cannot bear any further burdens. Their security must be protected, their democracy must be strengthened, and their governance systems reinforced through the peaceful transition of power. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In light of the current political situation in the country and difficulties we find ourselves navigating, I urge all of you to support our decision, rescind the resolution you enacted on 12 April 2021, and effectively restore the 17 September 2020 agreement you ratified on 26 September 2020.

Furthermore, Honorable Members of Parliament, I would like to state that our Prime Minister Honorable Mohamed Hussein Roble will spearhead the process of preparations and the implementation of this electoral process including election security arrangements to ensure elections take in a peaceful and stable atmosphere.

I have also tasked the Prime Minister to lead the process of facilitating and convening all the signatories of the 17 September 2020 agreement and the recommendations of the Baidoa Technical Committee of 16 February 2021 for its implementation.

Therefore, I urge the Government institutions to begin making necessary preparations for this enormous task ahead of us. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

In conclusion, I would like to call upon all the politicians, especially those with opposing views, to consider the common good, refrain from public incitement and endangering public security and instead choose dialogue and return to the negotiating table. That is the only viable option for all of us. 

I urge all sections of the Somali public to promote peace and the unity of the Somali people. I also urge you to stand by our Armed Forces who are dedicated to safeguarding the national security and the safety of our citizens.

May Allah guide us towards the righteous path. 

Source: Villa Somalia