Ali Mohamed Gedi, a former Somali Prime Minister, leads Somali Patriotic Party, one of the political parties that will contest the 2021 elections in Somalia. In April Puntland Post Monthly interviewed him.
Puntland Post Monthly: As a former Prime Minister of Somalia you lead a political party. When and why was the political party established?
Ali M. Gedi: First and foremost, let me take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to PUNTLAND POST team for the interview. To answer the first question, Somali Patriotic Party (SPP) was established in February 2016 (even before the political parties’ law was enacted by the Federal Parliament) to shift the country from centralised/dictatorial rule to decentralised and democratic governance through multi-party system. SPP was established by competent and qualified scholars (men and women) who complement my professional and political experience.
PPM: What differentiates the political party you lead from other parties?
Ali M. Gedi: My long-term academic and research activities coupled with more than a decade-long collaboration, partnership and interaction with international organisations, plus three years (2004-2007) of working as a Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia have equipped me with the necessary knowledge, experiences and tools that make difference to leading a modern party compared to the other political parties.
PPM: Somali Patriotic Party is not a member of the Forum for National Parties. Does that mean your party supports an open contest in place of building coalitions based on a desire to unseat the incumbent administration?
Ali M. Gedi: Yes. SPP is not and will not be a member of the Forum for National Parties due to differences in vision and mission, principles, objectives and goals. In this regard, SPP has a political and moral philosophy based on secularism, equality, freedom of speech, freedom of press, human rights, corruption-free, anti-tribalism, anti-radicalism/extremism and terrorism among others.
PPM: What is the position of SPP on possible postponement of elections due to Covid-19?
Ali M. Gedi: The position of SPP on possible postponement of the coming elections is very clear. The current government has been given 4 years mandate to run the affairs of the country, ending January 2021. Therefore, by constitution, the federal government must hold elections timely, freely and fairly without any further delay. Yes, Force Majeure is an issue, in the event of unexpected disasters like the Coronavirus Pandemic. In this case, the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia must come up with options and mechanisms acceptable to all the political stakeholders of the country so as to proceed smoothly to a conducive environment which can allow free and fair elections to take place next year.
PPM: Some federal member states criticise the Federal Government for bringing back centralised governance. In your view is there a substance to the criticism?
Ali M. Gedi: Criticism is a regular act before the eyes of a public administration. Hence, expressing adverse or disapproving judgment on governmental institutions is a tool for dealing with mistakes and the leaders must take it easy as corrective measures. Based on the above, the Federal Member states have the right to constructively criticise the Federal Government within the framework of the Provisional Federal Constitution and the government must accept it as such. Destructive or divisive criticism must be avoided by all stakeholders.
PPM: Does Somali Patriotic Party have branches in other parts of Somalia?
Ali M. Gedi: At the levels of the Federal Member States of Somalia, local regulations and guidelines in conformity with the federal government, for opening offices of the political parties are not yet in place; but SPP members and supporters are in action everywhere in the Federal Member States and district authorities country-wide as well as in each and every Diaspora community of Somalia world-wide.
© Puntland Post Monthly, 2020