Somali government says dissolution of parliament claim baseless

08:54, January 31, 2011      

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Somali President's office on Sunday dismissed as unfounded claims in some local media that the country's leader dissolved the national parliament.

The reports of an alleged decree by the Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed dismissing the national parliament surfaced following Ahmed's departure for the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Saturday.

"There have been rumors of fabricated reports flying around these days that the President of the Somali Republic Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has dissolved the Transitional Parliament of Somalia, " said a statement from the Somali Presidency in Mogadishu.

"These baseless and unfounded statements are designed to drive a wedge between the national institutions," it added.

The Somali president is currently attending the 16th AU summit being held in Addis Ababa with Somalia expected to be among the top of the agenda.

There have been previous differences over policy between the Speaker of the parliament and the president but that had since been resolved and the two top leaders were close.

The statement reiterated that the Somali president "stands for the upholding of the law and respects the parliament", adding that the Somali leader understands the importance of the Parliament for the existence of Somali sovereignty.

The local media outlets that published the alleged presidential decree were told to be warned about "spreading fabricated news" which, the statement said, create disagreements, conflict and political crises.

The Somali government's mandate will end in August and the international community spearheaded by the AU is concerned about the looming end of the transitional period with none of the required tasks of the government finalized to pave the way for free and fair elections.

The current national charter which was drawn in 2004 envisaged the drafting of a constitution, the conducting of census and the completion of the peace process to include the opposition but none has been achieved so far. A number of attempts at drafting the constitution were made but differences blocked its passage in parliament.

The Somali government now controls only few parts of the capital Mogadishu with the backing of almost 8,000 AU peacekeeping troops while Islamist rebels control the whole of south-central regions of the east African country.

Source: Xinhua
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