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Somalia made sweeping constitutional changes on Saturday, granting the president the power to appoint and dismiss the prime minister. The amendments, approved by a large parliamentary majority, followed intense debates within the federal assembly in Mogadishu.

The proposed changes from the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission (ICRIC) underwent rigorous review. While provisions concerning religion will get further scrutiny to align with Somali principles, other major revisions were passed.

Under the amended constitution, the president will directly appoint the prime minister, rather than needing a parliamentary confidence vote. Proponents argue this allows more flexibility in governance and could ease power struggles between the two roles that constitutional ambiguities previously fueled.

Other key changes include five-year terms for government bodies, recognizing regional leaders as “presidents,” and promoting a multi-party system. However, some opposition figures like former presidents object, saying the changes lack full consensus.

The amendments cap a near-decade of review aimed at resolving longstanding political conflicts, often rooted in power-sharing disputes among Somalia’s clans and regions.

Separately, the ICRIC had proposed provisions setting the age of maturity for girls at 15 and the age of criminal responsibility at 18. While approved, rights groups warn this could enable more child marriages by failing to meet international child protection standards that Somalia has committed to upholding.

Source of original article: Politics | The Voice (
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