Somalia has agreed on elections model and installed a new prime minster after the departure of former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre.
Anything that can pull Somalis together is good, and it is good that Prime Minster Mohamed Hussein Roble has filled a political vacuum left by Prime Minster Khayre, whose downfall stemmed from his political views which clashed with that of President Farmaajo’s.
Somalia had been a country immersed in civil wars and strives until it got its act together and decided to rise above the ashes, but realizing that aspiration has been a tedious task. Several governments have come and gone, but none of them have secured the country or established good governance.
The federal system adopted by the country to bridge the gap between Somali communities has been anything but a smooth one. This federal system has created continual conflicts between federal member states and the central government, thereby sandwiching the country’s population in the middle.
Controversies have clouded every aspect, ranging from defence to education to economy to foreign affairs, and the like. Even having a draft constitution in place has not been helpful, as it could not resolve disputed matters. The whole federal system is fairly new to Somalis, after all. What other systems can work for them? Anyway, it is common argument among Somalis that the adopted federal system is the only way that can pull Somalia together and bring it to a normal life.
But one good thing is the fact that elections take place in the country, occurring every four years. Hence, there is semblance of democracy in the country. When President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo came to power in 2017, he promised that he would pave the way for one-person-one vote elections in 2021, but that plan could not be fulfilled due to rejections from some federal member states and political parties. On the other hand, the one-person-one vote model was deemed unrealistic as allocated time and resources in place were not enough.
Puntland and Jubbaland States adamantly stood against the one-person-one vote plan, arguing that elections would be rigged if that scheme got implemented. Therefore, they tirelessly worked to abort President Farmaajo’s aforementioned election model. They got a bone to pick with him, so to speak. And in so doing, they forged an alliance with Galmudug State and initiated and held an election consultation conference in Dhuusamareeb (the state’s capital).
However, the Dhuusamareeb conference also attended by the central government’s president himself did not succeed. A little later, with the influence of the International community, the conference was moved to Mogadishu, where the president, leaders of the five federal member states, and governor of Banadir Province reconvened. They rolled up their sleeves and faced off there.
After long debates and deliberations, they came up with a cordial deal and arrived at a decision premised on the nature of the country’s upcoming elections. The country will hold indirect elections in 2021, overriding President Farmaajo’s favored one –person-one vote model.
Indeed, anarchy was averted by resolving the elections model in an amicable way. In fact, both the country’s parliament and its president were committed to putting power into people’s hands, but the indirect elections were chosen to prevent the country from unpredictable deterioration.
Let one hope that the 2021 elections will take place in a smooth way, and that bribery will not overtake every aspect of the elections. The Somali people need credible politicians who do not prefer their personal gains to that of their beleaguered population. People are tired of bombings and bribery.