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The President of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic has recently decided to revoke, through a “Presidential Decree”, the appointment of Dr. Hussein Abdi Elmi, the President of the Supreme Court of Somalia.
The appointment of Dr. Hussein Abdi Elmi as the President of the Supreme Court of Somalia came following a proposal put forth by the Ministry of Justice to the Council of Ministers of the Transitional Federal Government. The Council of Ministers, after a thorough examination of the candidate’s records and experience, found Dr. Hussein eligible for the post. As a result of this, his candidature to the post was endorsed by the Council and subsequently submitted to the President for the issuance of a Presidential Decree for his appointment, which the President unhesitatingly did.
About two months after, the same President who signed the Decree of Dr. Hussein’s appointment decided to repeal such appointment by a Decree. In a “Revocation Decree”, the President provided a couple of reasons to justify his decision: 1) Dr. Hussein’s appointment contravenes with his responsibilities and tasks as a Member of the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP); 2) According to the CV presented, Dr. Hussein lacked the experience required of a Chief Justice for the Supreme Court. But the fellow who has been picked by the President to replace Dr. Hussein is also a Member of the TFP. And according to those who are aware of this fellow’s his past records, he lacks everything.
The decision of the President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia came as a surprise to all of us in the diaspora. The President has obviously tampered with the law. The President can appoint the President of the Supreme Court of Somalia following a proposal by the Council of Ministers. But as stipulated in Article 55 paragraph 2 of the Transitional Federal Charter, “a judge shall be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his/her office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and shall not be removed except in accordance to this Clause.”
Paragraph 3 of the same article stipulates that “a judge shall be removed from office by the President if the question of his/her removal has been referred to a Tribunal appointed by the Parliament and the Tribunal has recommended to the Parliament that the judge ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or misbehaviour.”Based on the provisions of Article 55 of the Transitional Federal Charter, the removal of the President of the Supreme Court of Somalia is therefore unconstitutional and can be considered as an exercise of a power abuse and the tampering with the laws by the President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. The President, in sheer defiance of the
provisions of the Charter has appointed a new President of the Supreme Court, who also happens to be a Member of the Transitional Federal Parliament.
I believe that the unjust removal of Dr. Hussein is politically motivated. The President’s intention is obvious: to use the new “Chief Justice” for his own political agenda. He has picked a new “Chief Justice” in order to help him weaken the independence of the Judiciary and the Parliament, and help him also in securing the extension of his term and that of the cabinet without any elections. But this desperate move will only haunt the President and his Prime Minister.
I am dismayed and disillusioned. I see the decision of the President as being a sheer violation of the Transitional Federal Charter of the TFG. I and perhaps the whole Somalis in the Diaspora condemn the Transitional Federal Parliament for being silent on this issue. I request the entire Transitional Federal Institutions to condemn this tampering and power abuse and hold the President and the Prime Minister and his Cabinet accountable. I call upon the International Community to question the legitimacy of the President’s decision. It is only through justice and the respect of human rights that the country’s institutions can restore its legitimacy.
Dr. Fardowsa Moallim