We, members of the TFP, do hereby clarify our opinion on the following issues, concerning the unfortunate incident that occurred on March 17th 2005 and the following press release of the Speaker of the TFP on the same night.
First, we take this opportunity to apologize to the Somalia people on the unfortunate incident as stated above which occurred as follows;
- On the order paper was a government motion presented by the Prime Minister, the subject matter being approval by Parliament for the deployment of African Union (AU) and Arab league (AL) forces to Somalia.
- The Speaker welcomed the Prime Minister to elevate on the subject matter on the government motion. The Prime Minister summarized his presentation and asked the members of Parliament to debate and vote on the motion.
- The Speaker presented another motion to the secretariat and asked them to read, the Speaker surprised many members of the Parliament by presenting the second motion be debated upon.
- Upon reaching that Speaker the second motion was different from that presented by the government. Therefore, 15 MPs requested that the second motion be delayed and postponed to another session as stipulated in the rules of the procedure in Article 39 (2). The Speaker ignored that request.
- The debate was concluded at 5:00pm upon which the Speaker decided that voting would be by secret ballot. He called those who requested the 2nd motion and asked them to prepare the ballot paper on the new motion. Usually this is the work of the secretariat. He came back with a ballot paper reflecting the two motions. At this stage some MPS refused to accept the motion but the Speaker insisted on the voting for the second motion. The Prime Minister decided to postpone the vote on the government s motion and walked away. Thereafter the unfortunate incident of fistfight began until the Kenyan police arrived on the scene.
- To the surprise of many including the MPs the Speaker published his decision (pueportlity to the decision of the Parliament at 8.00pm in which he stated the no of yes votes, no votes, and the no of silent votes. On the same night, in an interview he made with the BBC Somalia service, the Speaker clarified that no vote count was made but he estimated the votes on the basis of MPs presentation during the debate.
- In exercise of our obligations by which we took the oath of office, obliged to state the facts as it happened in the presence of MPs, media and representatives of the International Community, do hereby declare that the Speakers decision (as above) was illegal and unwarranted.
THE SPEAKERS MISCONDUCT
- The primary responsibility of the Speaker is to uphold the true decision of the Parliament. In the past 6 months the Speaker of TFP deliberately made the following mistakes:
a) Dividing the Parliament into two groups and siding with one group.
b) On two occasions incited violence in Parliament instead of cooling down tempers. These events are recorded in video.
c) Article 24(4) of the rules of procedure of the Parliament dictates that anytime violence occurs inside the house, the Speaker has to stop the session for the day. This he did not do thereby causing negative perception of the parliament. These actions also caused injury and damage to property.
d) Endorsing decisions made by other government(s) without the knowledge of the Somali Parliament.
e) Failing for 8 months to establish various working committees in Parliament, which would have served and strengthened Parliament and causing Parliament to work without a secretariat.
f) And finally, deliberately releasing false result purporting to have been a parliament decision by vote.
- That the Speaker makes written apology and at the same time conduct his responsibility in accordance with his office.
- The Speaker and his two deputes are hereby called upon to immediately establish Parliament national working committee and the secretariat of the Parliament.
- The Speaker should take the leading role of narrowing the difference between members of the house and help remove the shadow of doubt cast on the reconciliation process and the government
- We call upon those involved in clan and regional hostilities to immediately cease fighting and support the government initiatives.
We fully support the decisions of the IGAD Council of the Ministers held in Nairobi on March 18, 2005 concerning the deployment of foreign troops in Somali.
Affirm our support to the decision of the Cabinet (Somali Government) in which Baidoa and Jowhar temporarily is the seat of the government until the situation in Mogadishu stabilizes.
Condemn the aggressive nature of the invasion of Baidoa and send message of condolence to the family of the affected people.
Finally, we register our appreciation to IGAD and the International Community in their tireless effort in the of Somali National Reconciliation process and request them to remain engaged.