Khayre: The Federal Government is committed to free and fair elections

Mogadishu ( PPM )  — The Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia Hassan Ali Khayre has clarified the position of the Federal Government  on free and fair  elections  in Somalia. The Prime Minister’s remarks come in the wake of pressure from the EU for clarity on elections to take place in Somalia next year.

Khayre urged Federal Government leaders to put their efforts into preparing Somalia for elections. “The cabinet members of the Federal Government of Somalia will devote their time and effort to prepare for elections in Somalia. Stakeholders will be involved” Khayre said. 

“Khayre has not clarified what he meant by stakeholders” says a political commentator in Mogadishu. Last year the President of the Federal Government of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo rejected the suggestion  from Puntland State President Said A. Deni to create a National Leadership Council to form a consensus on the electoral model for Somalia. Such a council would reduce the input of the Federal Parliament and Upper House into one person, one vote elections  to be held in Somalia in 2021.

Some analysts have interpreted Khayre’s comments as a sign that his relations with President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo are strained.

Federal Member States and Federal Legislatures disagree on electoral model for Somalia

In December 2019 the Federal Parliament of Somalia passed an electoral bill containing conditions under which the tenure of the incumbent Federal Government could be extended.

Unlike 2017 elections, the planned 2021 elections are based on an electoral law ratified by both the Federal Parliament and Upper House. The role demanded by Somali political parties  to build a consensus on the electoral model further complicates the march towards universal suffrage milestone in  Somalia.

The Federal Member States and the Federal Government  of Somalia  have prepared  Somalia for 2017 enhanced elections. A similar consensus is hard to come by unless the role of federal legislatures (the  Parliament and Upper House ) is relegated to that of a non-stakeholder.

Prime Minister Khayre emphasised the importance of periodic elections held in Somalia as a factor that will boost political stability in Somalia, oblivious to the administrative and political powers the Federal Government has appropriated through the pact between him and President Farmajo.

By diluting or bypassing the federal electoral bill Somalia will enter a new phase of uncertainty that may downgrade the Federal Government of Somalia to the status of a transitional government.

©  Puntland Post Monthly, 2020