“It is time for action and delivery,” President tells legislators at opening of Parliament


His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today opened Parliament, calling on legislators to rise to the challenges ahead.

“I congratulate you on this, your fourth session during this government’s period in office,” the President said. “It is now time for action and delivery. This year we have embarked on a review of the constitution, implementation of federalism through state formation, and the democratization process, all of which activity is to ensure that we realise Vision 2016.”

The President updated legislators on the ongoing military offensive against extremists. Al Shabaab was on the run, he said, but it was still a dangerous enemy and had to be eliminated for good.

“Every day we are taking new ground from an enemy in headlong flight, putting us in a position to deliver the assistance that is so desperately needed by all those Somalis who have suffered terribly under Al Shabaab. We now move into stabilisation mode and, with the help of our partners, must deliver basic public services such as humanitarian assistance, security, justice, good governance, healthcare and education.”

Reform of Somalia’s public financial management system was progressing well, the President said. A new Auditor General and an Accountant General had recently been appointed after a competitive, merit-based selection process supported by the World Bank. The Cabinet had also approved and sent to Parliament legislation introducing a comprehensive taxation system, a critical step towards eventual economic independence.

The President underlined the importance of the Cabinet and Parliament working closely together on the big strategic issues facing Somalia in the coming months.

“The challenges ahead of us are formidable, which is why a strong working partnership is so important. Compromise, flexibility and mutual understanding are always essential in politics, whichever part of the world you’re in. I urge each and every one of you, serve the Somali people to the best of your abilities and never lose sight of the national interest.”