Federal Parliament

Federal Parliament

Federal Parliament

Federal Parliament

- Constitution of Somalia

CHAPTER 6: THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENT

Title One: General Provisions

Article 55. The Houses of the Federal Parliament
(1) The Federal Parliament of the Federal Republic of Somalia consists of:
(a) The House of the People; and
(b) The Upper House.
(2) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament and the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall carry out their legislative duties in accordance with Title Four of this Chapter of the Constitution on the National Legislative Procedures.
Article 56. Performance of the Federal Parliament
The Houses of the Federal Parliament:
(a) Shall jointly perform their shared duties;
(b) Shall each individually perform the duties specific to them.
Article 57. Joint Sittings
(1) When the need arises, the House of the People of the Federal Parliament and the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall hold joint sessions, which shall be chaired by the Speaker of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, or any member of the Federal Parliament, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Houses of the Federal Parliament.
(2) While chairing the joint sessions, the Chair of the Joint Session shall not have a vote, unless there is a tie in the votes.
(3) Without interfering with the powers of the Federal Parliament to organise its activities, the President of the Federal Republic may, if deemed necessary, request the Speaker of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament and the Speaker of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament to hold a joint session of the Federal Parliament:
(a) To formulate procedures that guide the activities of the joint committees of the two Houses of the Federal Parliament;
(b) To execute procedures for implementing decisions reached by the joint committees of the Federal Parliament;
(c) To amend and review the Constitution in accordance with Chapter 15.
Article 58. Membership Criteria for the Federal Parliament
(1) In order to be eligible for membership of the Federal Parliament of the Federal Republic of Somalia, a person must:
(a) Be a citizen of the Federal Republic of Somalia, of sound mind, not younger than 25, and a registered voter;
(b) Not have had their citizenship suspended by a court order in the last five (5) years;
(c) Have a minimum of secondary education or equivalent experience.
(2) Before the candidature of a person is accepted, the National Independent Electoral Commission shall verify whether the candidate meets the criteria set out in this article.
Article 59. Disqualification of Membership of the Federal Parliament
(1) Membership of the Federal Parliament can be lost as a result of:
(a) Death of the member;
(b) The member consistently failing to perform his or her duties;
(c) The acceptance of a resignation submitted by the member to the House he or she is a member of;
(d) Failing to attend two consecutive ordinary sessions of his or her House without a reasonable excuse;
(e) The member accepting to hold a government position other than a ministerial post;
(f) The member’s citizenship rights having been suspended in accordance with the Constitution.
(2) If a member of the Federal Parliament loses their membership, the runner-up in the last election shall take up the position.
(3) The electoral law shall regulate the procedure for determining the runner-up, who should be sworn in within 30 days of the day of the loss of membership of the Federal Parliament of the member he or she is replacing.
Article 60. Term of Office
(1) The term of office of the Federal Parliament is 4 years from the day of the announcement of the election results.
(2) A member of Federal Parliament may be re-elected.
Article 61. Responsibilities of Members of the Federal Parliament
(1) When fulfilling his or her duties, every member of the Federal Parliament shall be guided by the best interests of the nation as a whole.
(2) While fulfilling his or her duties in accordance with Clause (1) of this Article, every member of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament has a special responsibility to represent the constituency he or she has been elected from, regardless of their political or party affiliations.
(3) Every member of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament has a special responsibility to represent the interests of the Federal Member State that the member represents, and to safeguard the federal system, whilst acting in the spirit of inter-governmental cooperation.
Article 62. Joint Committees of the Federal Parliament
(1) The two Houses of the Federal Parliament may form joint committees to facilitate their work.
(2) Joint rules of procedure passed by the two Houses shall determine the number of joint committees to be formed, and the procedure of their work.

Title Two: The House Of The People Of The Federal Parliament

Article 63. The Legislative Powers of the House of the People
The House of the People of the Federal Parliament represents all the people of Somalia, and the legislative duties tasked solely to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament are as follows:
(a) To participate in amending the Constitution in accordance with Chapter 15;
(b) To pass, amend or reject legislation tabled before it in accordance with this Chapter and Chapter 15 of the Constitution;
(c) To study laws passed by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament;
(d) To delegate to the Upper House of the Federal Parliament legislative duties, with the exception of its duty to participate in the procedures for amending the Constitution.
Article 64. The Number of the Members of the House of the People
(1) The members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall be elected by the citizens of the Federal Republic of Somalia in a direct, secret and free ballot.
(2) The number of ordinary members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall be two hundred and twenty-five (225) members.
(3) The members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament must represent all communities of the Federal Republic of Somalia in a balanced manner.
(4) Any person who becomes the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia shall become a life member of the House of the People after leaving the office of President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, unless he or she has been removed from this office before the end of the presidential term in accordance with Article 92 of the Constitution, and he or she shall be an additional member of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
Article 65. The Speaker and Deputy Speakers of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
(1) At its first session, presided over by the eldest member, the House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall elect a Speaker and two (2) Deputy Speakers from amongst its members.
(2) If on any occasion neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speakers are present, the House shall elect one of its members to preside temporarily.
(3) Before assuming office, the Speaker shall relinquish any official position in a political party, and shall be strictly neutral in the performance of his or her functions.
(4) The Speaker and his or her deputies shall be elected through a secret ballot by a majority vote of the members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, and may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
Article 66. House Sessions of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
(1) A newly elected House of the People of the Federal Parliament must hold its first sitting within 30 days of the declaration of the result of the general election, on a date fixed by the National Independent Electoral Commission.
(2) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament must hold two regular sessions each year, and each session should last for a minimum of four (4) months.
(3) The rules of procedure of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall determine the timings, dates and the resting period of the regular sessions of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(4) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall be convened for a special session whenever:
(a) Called by the President of the Federal Republic acting on the request of the Council of Ministers;
(b) Called by its Speaker;
(c) Requested in writing by at least 20% of the members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
Article 67. Dissolution of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
The House of the People of the Federal Parliament cannot be dissolved before the end of its four- year term unless the House has been unable to approve the Council of Ministers and the program of the government under Article 100, Paragraph (c).
Article 68. Rules of Procedure of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
(1) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall adopt its own rules of procedure, which shall provide for full participation of its members.
(2) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall divide itself into committees that will carry out the duties of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(3) When draft legislation is brought before the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, it shall task it to the relevant House committee so that it may be studied, and a report of its findings and recommendations presented to the plenary of the House.
(4) Draft legislation rejected by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament cannot be returned before the House of the People of the Federal Parliament for 30 days from the day of the rejection of the legislation.
(5) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament and its committees shall sit in public, in accordance with the general principle of transparency in government. The rules of procedure shall define when it is necessary for the House of the People to have a closed door session.
Article 69. The Powers of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
(1) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament has legislative duties, including the duty:
(a) To pass, amend or reject any law tabled before it;
(b) To prepare laws, except laws related to the annual budget, which shall be formulated by the Council Of Ministers.
(2) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament has the following additional powers:
(a) To approve the Independent Commissions brought before it by the Prime Minister;
(b) To hold accountable and monitor the national institutions, and to ensure the implementation of national laws;
(c) To summon the Prime Minister, members of the Council of Ministers and the Chairmen of the Independent Commissions and Offices. The House of the People of the Federal Parliament has the authority to review the duties of any official who does not respond when summoned by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament;
(d) To give a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, and in government projects, to be conducted by a simple majority vote of the total members
(50%+1) by means of a show of hands to the Prime Minister and members of the Council of Ministers;
(e) To carry out a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister and his deputy or deputies by a simple majority vote of the total members (50% +1) to be conducted by means of a show of hands;
(f) To elect and dismiss the President of the Federal Republic as provided for by the Constitution;
(g) To carry out other duties as provided for by the Constitution to ensure the proper implementation and review of the Constitution.
Article 70. The Immunity of the Members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
(1) No member of the House of the People shall be penalised for giving their views to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament and its committees.
(2) Without the approval of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, no member of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament may be prosecuted for a criminal offense, be detained, or be physically searched, and nor may the member’s house or other dwellings be searched unless the member has been caught in the act of committing a crime that calls for compulsory detention orders. Furthermore, without the approval of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, no member may be detained or imprisoned, even in the fulfillment of a final court order.
(3) A member can be held liable for non-criminal offenses without the approval of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(4) A special law shall define the immunity of the members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(5) The allowances and other benefits of the members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament shall be paid from the central treasury of the Federal Government.

Title Three: The Legislative Powers Of The Upper House Of The Federal Parliament

Article 71. The Upper House of the Federal Parliament The Upper House of the Federal Parliament represents the Federal Member States, and its legislative duties include:
(a) Participation in the process of the amending the Constitution, in accordance with Chapter 15;
(b) Passing, amending, or rejecting the laws that are tabled before it in accordance with Articles 80-83;
(c) Study of laws delegated to it in accordance with Article 80-83;
(d) Participation in the election of the President of the Federal Republic in accordance with Article 89;
(e) Dismissal of the President in accordance with Article 92;
(f) Participation in the process of declaring war in accordance with the Constitution;
(g) Carrying out other duties required by the Constitution to ensure proper implementation and review of the Constitution;
(h) Participation in the process of declaring a state of emergency in accordance with the Constitution;
(i) Participation in the process of appointing the following members of government institutions, as provided for by the Constitution:
1. Members of the Judicial Service Commission;
2. Chairman and Judges of the Constitutional Court;
3. Members of the National Independent Electoral Commission;
4. Members of the Boundaries and Federation Commission;
5. Members of the Interstate Commission.
Article 72. The Number of Members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
The members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall be elected through a direct, secret and free ballot by the people of the Federal Member States, and their number shall be no more than 54 members based on the eighteen (18) regions that existed in Somalia before 1991, and on the following:
(a) The number of Federal Member States of the Federal Republic of Somalia;
(b) That all Federal Member States should have an equal number of representatives in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament;
(c) That the members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament should be representative of all communities of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Article 73. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall be elected and dismissed through the same procedures that apply to those of the elections for the Speaker and Deputy Speakers of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
Article 74. House Sessions of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
(1) A newly elected Upper House of the Federal Parliament must hold its first sitting within 30 days of the declaration of the result of the general election. The date of the first session shall be determined by the National Independent Electoral Commission.
(2) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament must hold two regular sessions each year, and each session shall last for a minimum of four(4) months.
(3) The Rules of Procedure of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall determine the timings, the dates and the resting period of the regular sessions of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.
(4) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall be convened for a special session whenever:
(a) Called by the Prime Minister;
(b) Called by its Speaker;
(c) Requested in writing by at least two(2) Federal Member States.
Article 75. Rules of Procedure of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
(1) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall adopt its own rules of procedure, which shall provide for full participation of its members.
(2) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall divide itself into committees that shall facilitate the fulfillment of duties allocated to them by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.
(3) When draft legislation is tabled before the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, it shall task the relevant House committee to study it, and present a report of its findings and recommendations to the plenary of the House.
(4) Draft legislation rejected by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament cannot be returned before the Upper House of the Federal Parliament for 30 days from the day of the rejection of the legislation.
(5) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament and its committees shall sit in public, in accordance with the general principle of transparency in government.
Article 76. Decision-making in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
(1) Unless stated otherwise by the Constitution, each member of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall have one vote.
(2) Decisions of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament can pass only with a majority vote of the total membership of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.
Article 77. Presence of Ministers in the Sessions of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
(1) Ministers may attend the sessions of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, and may speak, but shall not have the right to vote. The rules of procedures of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament may provide for regular sessions in which ministers respond to written or oral questions from members of the House.
(2) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament or its committees may summon the Prime Minister and members of the Council of Ministers to ask them questions related to their duties.
(3) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall inform in writing the above officials of the subject matter of the meeting at least one week before the agreed date of the meeting.
Article 78. The Immunity of the Members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
(1) The members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall have the same immunity to that of members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament stated in this Constitution.
(2) The Upper House of the Federal Parliament cannot be dissolved.

Title Four: Legislative Procedures In Parliament

Article 79. Draft Legislation
(1) According to the Constitution, a draft legislation consists of the proposal of draft law, including:
(a) Reviewing, replacing, and proposing amendments to the Constitution;
(b) Writing and preparing a new draft law;
(c) Proposing a new draft law;
(d) Reviewing an existing law.
(2) The debate on draft legislation for reviewing this Constitution shall be initiated at the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(3) The debate on any draft law may be initiated at either House of the Federal Parliament.
Article 80. Initiating New Laws
(1) Draft legislation at the National Level may be initiated by:
(a) The Council of Ministers; or
(b) At least 10 members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, except draft legislation that concerns the annual budget which shall be initiated only by the Council of Ministers.
(2) Draft legislation may be presented to the Upper House of the Federal Parliament by
(a) At least one representative of a Federal Member State; or
(b) Any committee of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.
Article 81. Political Resolutions
(1) Both Houses of the Federal Parliament can initiate draft legislation.
(2) Only the House of the People of the Federal Parliament has the authority to reject draft legislation.
(3) If there are differences with regard to draft legislation between the two Houses of the Federal Parliament, either House may call for a joint committee of both Houses to attempt to resolve the differences and to suggest a harmonised draft legislation to both Houses in the spirit of intergovernmental cooperation as stipulated in Article 51 and 52 of this Constitution.
(4) Only the House of the People of the Federal Parliament may send draft legislation to the President of the Federal Republic for his signature and its publication in the Official Gazette.
Article 82. Draft Laws Initiated in the House of the People of the Federal Parliament
(1) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law, it may take any of the following courses of action:
(a) To pass it in unchanged form, or pass it with amendment(s) and then submit it to the Upper House of the Federal Parliament for approval;
(b) To reject it and inform the Upper House of the Federal Parliament of the reasons for the rejection.
(2) When the Upper House of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law passed by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, it may take any of the following courses of action:
(a) To pass it the way it has been submitted, and send it back to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament;
(b) To amend the draft law, and send it back to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, with reasons for the amendment(s);
(c) To reject the draft law, and send it back to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, with reasons for its rejection.
(3) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law passed by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, it shall send it to the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, for his signature, and its publication in the Official Gazette.
(4) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law that has been amended by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament it can do either of the following:
(a) To accept the amendment on the draft law, and then submit it to the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia for his signature, and its publication in the Official Gazette;
(b) To reject the amendment and over-rule the decision of Upper House of the Federal Parliament through a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the total membership of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, and then submit it to the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, for his signature, and its publication in the Official Gazette.
(5) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law that has been rejected by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, it can do either of the following:
(a) To accept the rejection and drop the draft law;
(b) To over-rule the rejection of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament with a two-thirds
(2/3) majority vote of the total membership of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament and then submit it to the President of the Republic for his signature and its publication in the Official Gazette.
Article 83. Draft Laws Initiated in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament
(1) When the Upper House of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law, it can do either of the following:
(a) To pass it the way it is, or pass it with amendment(s), and then submit it to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament for approval;
(b) To reject it, and inform the House of the People of the Federal Parliament of the reasons for the rejection.
(2) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law that has been passed by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, it may act in any of the following ways:
(a) To accept it the way it was submitted by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament and then submit it to the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, for his signature, and its publication in the Official Gazette;
(b) To amend it and send it back to the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, with reasons for the amendment(s);
(c) To reject it and send it back to the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, with reasons for the rejection.
(3) When the Upper House of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law that has been amended by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, it may act in any of the following ways:
(a) To accept the amendment to the draft law without voting and then send it back to the House of the People to submit it to the President of the Republic so as to sign it and then publish it in the official Gazette;
(b) To reject the amendment and over-rule the decision of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the total membership of the House, and then send it back to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(4) When the Upper House of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law that has been rejected by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, it may do either of the following:
(a) To accept the rejection, and drop the draft law;
(b) To over-rule the rejection of the House of the People through by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of its total membership, and then send it back to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(5) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law which it has amended, and the amendment has been accepted by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, it shall submit the draft law to the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia for his signature, and its subsequent publication in the Official Gazette
(6) When the House of the People of the Federal Parliament receives a draft law which it has amended or rejected, and its decision has been over-ruled by the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, it may take do either of the following:
(a) To over-rule the decision of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament by a two- third
(2/3) majority vote of the total membership of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament, and drop the draft law;
(b) To accept the decision of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, and submit the draft law to the President of the Federal Republic for his signature and its publication in the Official Gazette.
(7) If the two Houses of the Federal Parliament differ on a draft Law, when the draft Law reaches the level mentioned in section 4 or 6, either of the Houses can request for the formation of a joint committee of the two Houses in order to settle the difference and come up with a draft Law that both Houses agree on based on the general principles of intergovernmental cooperation as stipulated in Article 51 and 52 of this Constitution.
Article 84. Disseminating and Keeping Records of Laws
The secretaries of the Houses of the Federal Parliament and the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Somalia shall be responsible for keeping records of laws passed by the Federal Parliament, and for their publication in the Official Gazette.
Article 85. Assent to Legislation
Draft legislation becomes law once it has been passed in accordance with the legislative procedure as stipulated in this Chapter, signed by the President of the Federal Republic, and published in the Official Gazette.
Article 86. Challenging Legislation
(1) Legislation that has been passed in accordance with the legislative procedure, as stipulated in this Chapter, may only be challenged if it contradicts the Constitution.
(2) Legislation that has been passed in accordance with the legislative procedure, as stipulated in this Chapter, may be challenged by:
(a) All members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament or one representative of a Federal Member State;
(b) A third of the members of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament;
(c) The Council of Ministers of the Federal Republic of Somalia;
(d) Ten thousand (10,000) or more registered voters.
(3) Legislation that has been challenged, in accordance with Clause 1 and 2 of this Article, must be presented to, and decided upon, only by the Constitutional Court.
(4) If the Constitutional Court dismisses a challenge to the legislation, the expenses shall be met by the party that has brought the matter to the Constitutional Court.
(5) The procedure for challenging legislation, and deciding upon it, shall be stated in the laws regulating the judiciary.

Constitution of Somalia

Declaration of the Federal Republic of Somalia
Fundamental Rights and the Duties of the Citizen
General Principles of Human Rights
Rights Basic Personal Liberties and its Limitations
Duties of Citizens
Land Property and Environment
Public Representation
General Principles of Public Representation
Elections
Devolution of the Powers of Government
Federal Parliament
General Provisions
House of the People of the Federal Parliament
Legislative Powers of the Upper House
Legislative Procedures In Parliament
President of the Federal Republic
Executive
Judicial Authority
Independent Commissions
Civil Service
Federal Member States
Public Finance
Peace and Security
Final and Transitional Provisions
Amending the Constitution
Miscellaneous Provisions
Somali Flag
Somali Emblem
Proposed Amendments to the Constitution
First Term of the Somali Federal Parliament
Priority Laws to be Enacted in the First Term
Constitution Somalia Federal Parliament 2023
Somali government prosecutes journalists union leader Africanews English
Somalia launches National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 13 for women and security ZAWYA
What Can Somalia's Federal Member States Learn from Somaliland ... Peace Research Institute Oslo
Key Elections, Events to Watch in Africa in 2023 Foreign Policy