Somalia’s Parliament has come of age, says President


His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today congratulated Parliament as it went on recess, saying it had “come of age” in its latest term.

“I praise your hard work and dedication, witnessed in the completion today of your 59th session,” the President said. “You have conducted your debates in an admirable spirit, you have worked tirelessly to advance reconciliation between regions and clans and you have won the confidence of the people and the international community. That is no mean achievement and I congratulate you for it.”

The President, who presided over the swearing-in of the new Council of Ministers, called on lawmakers to continue the progress in 2014. The government now needed to consolidate recent gains and demonstrate the benefits of government to a population in urgent need of public services.

“This is a very important year for Somalia. We have multiple priorities, from the elimination of Al Shabaab, stabilization and public financial management reform to the delivery of services, reconciliation and federalism. We must continue to work towards Vision 2016 and ensure we develop a new constitution and are ready for national elections. I call on Parliament to work closely with Cabinet and hold the executive to account through your various sub-committees.”

The President congratulated Abdiweli Mohammed Ali Gaas for his recent election as President of Puntland, “the mother of federalism and unity of Somalia”, and said talks between the Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland were progressing, with a commitment to meeting every three months. “The unity of Somalia by peaceful means is our objective,” the President said, thanking Turkey for sponsoring the talks.