Don’t Overhaul Political System Without People’s Input

Target: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia

Goal: Allow national vote on widespread reforms to constitution.

The people of Somalia have endured many civil conflicts and much governmental upheaval. A tenuous power-sharing system has brought some degree of stability, but critics worry a massive overhaul of the nation’s constitution could further destabilize the fragile country. On its face, the constitutional revision seems like a positive development in that it grants every Somali citizen a vote and requires Somalia’s president win a nationwide popular vote.

The problem, critics say, is that the new constitution also grants the president an inordinate amount of power. For one, the president can unilaterally fire Somalia’s prime minister without approval from the country’s parliament. The president also wields more control over individual ministries, which could impact decisions the nation makes in domestic and international matters, such as recent strife with Ethiopia.

At least one state has refused to recognize the new constitution until its amendments are subject to a national referendum vote. Sign the petition below to urge adoption of this conciliatory measure.


Dear President Mohamud,

Universal suffrage and a national “one voter, one vote” system are admirable aims. Giving more power to the people is a positive goal. So why not honor the request of one of your most influential regions to allow a nationwide referendum on proposed constitutional changes?

Every region of Somalia should have input on a system that will set the course forward for this nation for years to come. Power-sharing is, after all, another key cornerstone of the democratic process.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Aboodi Vesakaran

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