Before we talk about the Somalia’s electoral impasses we ought to turn back the electoral scenario of the region particularly the intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD). The IGAD region had bad blood and dull moment relations with all elections.
The entire member states of the organization had some kind of election related conflict and crisis. Really the IGAD member states have failed to hold free and fair, transparent, credible and acceptable election by all for their own countries comparing with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) or Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The good example of the IGAD electoral failures are a 2007 election dispute of Kenya which had caused death and destruction, the Ethiopian 2019 postponed election which resulted the ongoing crisis of TIGRAY region, and finally the chronic sham elections of both Uganda and Djibouti. In this regard Eritrean and Sudan had never experienced any election even chronic sham election.
Somalia is the member of this volatile region. It’s the region which had history of secession in the contemporary time of the African continent (Eretria and south Sudan). Besides all this regional political idiocy Somalia had geopolitical related problems. Instead of helping its long Somalia’s coastline and getting geographical advantage it became hinder. It is route for world shipment becomes a mug’s game.
In addition to that Somalia had experienced many catastrophes from climate change which forced many rural and nomadic people to move regional capitals which haven’t any services mostly undeveloped cities, to endless of power struggle, religious extremist , piracy and fragile domestic institution, clan based political wrangle and hash political stability and finally to secessionist movement mentality which lead the country towards balkanization and banana based clan poor states which will be burden to the regions and to the international community.
However for the last two years Somalia has been facing an election disputes. There is a much debates and discussion about the Somalia upcoming election. The debate was focus on the best way for implementing the election. The implementation of Somalia election of this time is the biggest challenge facing Somalia today.
It is the test for the Somalia political system, its state building and its trust among Somalia clan based structural framework. Some Somalia analyst believes Somalia is across road moment. Its time from anarchy and upheaval to the stability and political consensus from fraud election to free and fair election and finally the time for erasing war on terror, foreign intervention and meddling Somalia internal affairs to state building.
Conversely in Somalia when election arises clan always play a vital role for the election. The clan chief selects the delegates and the clan delegates elect one Member of Parliament. The process of Somalia election is straightforward but the implementation of this process is complex and complicated one. Sometimes this process can be rigged, fair, fraud and sometimes cause fragmentation with in clan in to sub-clans.
The true implementation of the Somalia upcoming elections needs consensus, inclusive participation, political maturity and quick implementation. In regard there are many Somalia political influences candidates and hopeful of the next president. These are popular competing groups for running top position of the country.
- President Mohamed ABDULLAHI (President FARMAJO) and his staunch group.
The President FARMAJO is the current de facto leader of this fragile and collapsed nation. This nation needs a leader who full understands the Somalia state as it’s, it has been and it ought to be in the future. Looking the interest of the country and forgetting everything and quick election implementations are the priorities and expectations of every Somalia citizen and even international community.
Literally nobody can deny that the Somalia’s constitution constitutes President FARMAJO is the legitimate president until next president elected or renewal of himself to the position. Nevertheless For the last eight months Somalia is facing an electoral dispute, political tensions and sometimes violence.
In the Recent actions of political aperture between president FARMAJO and prime minister ROBLE have triggered a debate in Somalia the ability of two leaders for implementing the remaining election and leading the country towards a safe and secure place.
Really the two leader’s political competing remembered us General Mohammed SIYAD BARE versus the Somalia clan based ragtag paramilitary which led the country toward one decade and half of anarchy, upheaval, law of the jungle and forever of fragile nation, clan fragmentation and proliferation of clan based regional sates. Howe ever during president FARMAJO’s tenure there was a mixed of achievements and fiasco.
- Somalia federal regional states.
The Somalia federal member states are bank on for the implementations of the upcoming election. The Somalia regional leaders have the responsibility for ensuing free and fair election and credibility of the upcoming election because the president FARMAJO had delegated and transferred total executive authority of the election implementation issues to Somalia prime minister ROBLE .this decision was one step forward.
It is clear indications that all regional states had failed or may be did not understand that federal is the device to harmonize the need for local autonomy with the necessary of preserving the unity of the Somalia state. The Somalia regional states did not aware that if they continue their unilateral rejection of the center the country will became ‘stateless’ or ‘duty-free’ country.
- Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC). The CPC has been formed to be counter of the current regime’s mistakes and its misuse of the power. They accused the current regime and their outgoing president of centralist agenda and centripetal mentality which lead the country towards autocratic regime while the country is a democratic and federal system. But their allegations are groundless because there is no single political prisoner in the country. Their arguments was pure democratic system which saying (a government in which everyone has a share) this mentality is the first world mentality Somalia is located in the fourth world so sharing government is the dreamland. The CPC have many hopeful candidates for the position of the next president. Many people strongly believe the upcoming president will be one of them if they manage their political fighting against the current president and seek political compromise among them and avoid all actions related to the violence. This group is an alliance opposition but they haven’t any constitutional base. They always blaming the president and its supporters but they haven’t any remedy for any national or societal predicament which arise. This group sometimes is restless group and had many mop mentality supporters and their political game always stays on course but they have many respectful individuals and former two respectful presidents. (SHARIF AND HASSAN SHIEKH). In Somalia constitution there is no one article talking to this title so that there is a legal controversial their establishment. Somalia as we know every is based on clan 4.5 formula.
- External powers and their influence
Somalia was absent of international stage for more than one and half decade. The Somalia scenario became from autocratic rule to anarchy. It was unlucky years and long illness and hospitalization of the country. In that scenario many aid organizations and countries had played a positive role for helping and assisting of Somalia people. From Kenya (hosted half millions Somalia refuge} and Ethiopia to UK, USA, Italy, Canada, Scandinavian countries and Australia the Somalia communities are living peacefully. These countries and organization have some kind of influence. Italy is our colonial master and has close relations with Somalia. Add to that Somalia had full membership for international and regional organization like IGAD, AU, ARAB league, OIC and the UN. The IGAD believes that Somalia is a sick man in the horn Africa. In this regard many Somalia neighboring countries have been accused for interfering in the internal affairs of Somalia. It’s clear that some Somalia’s key neighbors are not likely to take and assess their importance for Somalia’s progress toward a stable and vigorous state. As the pew research surveyed that (Kenyans are most likely to name their neighbor, Somalia (26%), as the top threat facing their country.) In this threat Kenya and its intelligence services had been accused for working secretly in side of Somalia which became simply fueled the fires. Some Arab countries also had been accused the same allegations.
In the end I would like to conclude my synopsis the following proposes:
- Quick implementation of the upcoming election/selection and de- escalation of all hysteria, political idiocy and reaching political consensus by any means is the priority of this time and expectations of every Somalia citizen. Close working relations between the federal government and its member states and peaceful power changeover are also essential of Somalia’s gradual state building.
- Reducing all political tensions and looking for the interest of the country and forgetting the person gains and benefits are also important.
- Avoiding rigged election and agreeing transparent criteria and standard which accept all stakeholders also indispensable.
- Finally in our holy Quran told us that wrongdoers of people have always wrongdoer leader because leader always from the society (Thus We make some of the wrongdoers befriend one another, because of what they used to do.) holy Quran
OSMAN HASSAN SALAH (XASAN CADE)
human rights analyst and director of center for research training and consultancy (CRTC)