Somalia’s presidential election will take place in a few days. It’s slated to happen on the 15th day of May 2022. For a while, the country had seen a tumultuous commotion to hold timely elections. Both the country’s parliament and presidential elections were to take place last year, but they didn’t materialize due to disagreements concerning what sort of elections had to transpire in the country.
Disputed Electoral Process
An already agreed upon one-person-one-vote electoral plan approved by the parliament and signed by the president was eventually rescinded. Some federal states of the country (namely Jubbaland and Puntland) protested the plan and rejected it. They argued the plan would benefit President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo whom they fought fiercely over issues.
The election issues became explosive dynamite. They ousted Prime Minster Hassan Ali Kheyre, who served the country for more than three years. He and his boss held two divergent viewpoints about the election’s nature. The president espoused the one-person-one-vote plan, while the prime minister supported an indirect electoral process administered by the federal states. That political wrangling claimed the prime minister’s seat. The parliament dislodged him.
Averse to the government’s dealings, opposition leaders organized a demonstration in the capital city. Leading individuals of the protest included former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, and Abdirahman Abdishakur, a seasoned politician. A little later, the demonstration turned into violence. And the government soldiers were accused of using live bullets against peaceful protesters, including high-ranking officials.
Soon after, the country’s parliament held an emergency meeting in which they extended President Farmaajo’s tenure, giving him a total of six years in VILLA SOMALIA. He signed the deal. They also ordered an existing Election Commission to reinstate the one-person-one-vote electoral system and hold the elections within the stipulated time.
Again another explosion erupted. The opposition leaders, aided by militiamen and defected armed soldiers, took up the arms, barricaded segments of the capital, and threatened to create chaos if the extension hadn’t been repealed. On its side, the government stationed armed soldiers in the capital’s streets and vowed to safeguard the security of the capital and its residents. The standoff was vicious.
Seeing the volatile situation in the capital city, thousands of residents abandoned their homes in search of safety. They didn’t want to risk their lives and those of their loved ones. Previously, Mogadishu had had a fair share of destruction and displacement, so they never liked to experience such a situation or harken back to that awful era. That’s a bitter memory. To the fleeing residents, though, fighting in the core of the city seemed inevitable.
To prevent the country from falling into further mayhem, the parliament and the president reconvened and canceled the extension. They went back to the indirect electoral system. To close the deal, leaders of the federal states and the central government got together and agreed on the indirect electoral system.
Eventually, the indirect electoral process produced both houses (upper and lower) of the parliament, except for the Gedo region, which is in a contentious dispute. The region was supposed to send 16 members to the lower house of the parliament but multiplied the number. So 32 individuals are now fighting over the representation of the Gedo region.
Selecting the country’s parliament’s two houses has been anything but a fair one. Those entrusted with conducting a fair selection process took advantage of the situation by handpicking whomever they preferred. Worse, some federal states plundered parliament seats by giving seats owned by particular clans to other clans of their liking. The Jubbaland and Puntland federal states are two cases in point. The two states’ leaders, Ahmed Madobe and Said Dani, expropriated Jidwaaq and Geri parliament seats and gave them to their own respective clans. Call this conduct a semblance of justice. What a justice!
Now the country’s presidential election is in the offing. It’s looming large on the horizon. More than thirty presidential candidates are vying for the presidency. And many of them have already come up with the candidacy’s prerequisites ($40,000 and several parliament members) and obtained their candidacy certificates. Somalia should move ahead regardless of who wins the presidential position on the 15th of the month.