The Forum for National parties rejected the appointment of the five-member Judicial Service Commission made on July 30th by the Somali cabinet. They say that the caretaker government has no legal authorities to appoint National legal institutions. According to the opposition, president Farmajo’s caretaker government is violating Somalia’s constitution by illegally selecting senior officials in the Judicial Service Commission and the Somali Petroleum Authority. They say that only until a new Prime Minister and his cabinet are sworn in is when the appointment would take place.
After a meeting held on July 30th by the cabinet of the current Caretaker, it was announced that the cabinet had made some appointments which included amending the country’s constitutional body of Judicial Service Commission of five new members. It approved the board of directors of Somali Petroleum Authority too.
This was a few days after the former prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire was ousted by a vote of no confidence in Parliament. The appointment, however, is a violation of the constitution and has been termed as unlawful. A statement from the Press Release ” STATUS OF POSITION ON GOVERNMENT DECISIONS” was made on July 31st. According to the Press release by Somali civil society, the caretaker government can carry out day to day running of the government.
Still, it does not have the just and legal authority to appoint senior officials like members of the Judicial Service Commission and the Somali Petroleum Authority. As per Article 103 of the Constitution, ” Between the date of General Elections and swearing of the new Prime Minister, the Existing Prime Minister and Council of Ministers shall continue to serve in a caretaker capacity to carry out routine duties.” The Somali Civil Society urged that the appointment which amends the country’s constitutional bodies, and any other critical commissions should be left for the next government. It said the illegal appointments will only hinder the progress of the concerned institutions and the state-building efforts.
The press release also informed that the Executive and Parliament should uphold the rule of law at all times for the good of the Somali citizens and all those within the territorial borders of the Federal Republic of Somalia. According to a statement on Friday, July 31st, the Secretary-General of the Somali Bar Association, David Arab, said the caretaker government is not allowed to make appointments or introduce controversial bills.
He added that the clan basis criteria on which the five members were selected do not meet the requirements of Article 8 of the Judicial Service Commission.