Somali leaders agree to extend transitional period for 12 months

09:37, June 10, 2011      

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Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the country's Parliament Speaker Shariff Hassan Sheikh Aden on Thursday signed an agreement here extending the country's transitional period for 12 months.

The agreement dubbed Kampala Accord sent to media houses by State House here said that the elections that were scheduled to be held in August this year, marking the end of the transitional period, have been pushed to August 2012.

"We agree to defer elections of the President and the Speaker and his deputies for twelve months after August, 2011 in order to adequately prepare and complete priority transitional tasks," the accord said.

According to the agreement, the Somali prime minister has to resign from his position within the next 30 days and the president will appoint a new one who will have to be endorsed within 14 days by parliament.

The new prime minister will have to appoint his cabinet within 30 days of his approval after which the parliament will approve the cabinet.

The priority tasks the new government and parliament will have to address in the 12 months include security, parliamentary reforms, constitution-making process, preparation for elections, and greater political outreach.

The agreement warns of consequences including application of appropriate sanctions against spoilers, a move targeted to ensure compliance with the benchmarks and timeliness by the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs).

The heads of state of the region with participation of the United Nations and the African Union will constitute a political bureau that shall oversee and monitor compliance of the TFIs in implementing the tasks and to advance the Somali peace process.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni agreed to guarantee the implementation of the accord and signed as a witness.

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on June 2 warned that without the extension of the transitional period the security gains made in the country would be lost offering an opportunity to the insurgents to regroup and re-arm.

A row had erupted between government and parliament with the latter demanding that elections for speaker and president be held in July and August this year, a move the government protested, creating an impasse.

Source: Xinhua
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