Parliamentary Seats for Marginalised Somali Clans

Mogadishu (PP Editorial ) — The inequities inflicted on marginalised Somali clans received a new lease of life twenty years ago when the 4.5 power-sharing system was placed at the heart of the Somali political system.

The burning question is: Why has the plight of marginalised Somali clans deteriorated despite the adoption of a federal system and end of the transition in 2012? The proponents of the 4.5 have succeeded to institutionalise the lower citizenship status of Somali marginalised clans.

The evidence for lesser political rights assigned to the Sixth Clans ( the other grappellation for marginalised clans) lies in the distribution of MPs and Senators of the Sixth Clans constituencies from Lower Shabelle, a region that is known for diverse social groups.

The two coastal and hostoric districts, Marka and Baraawe, have undergone a demographic change caused by the civil war. The demographic change does not necessitate the use of minority or majority to describe the status of different clans in the region.

Before 1991 both Baraawe and Marka were districs mainly populated by Banadiri clans. The two districs come under the jurisdiction of South West State but have no representation commensurate with their historic rights and belonging to those districts.

The picture of underrepresentation gets starker given how the Jareer Weyn clan remains underrepresented in Lower Shabelle region and South West State. Both Jareer Weyn and Banadiri clans suffer the indignity of being relegated to the status of underrepresented clans. With the plans to conduct indirect elections in Somalia underway , MPs and Senators of Banadiri and Jareer Weyn will have to be elected in South West. In practical terms two clans with full representation rights will have the privilege to decide how MPs and Senators and MPs of marginalised clans will be selected.

The Fifth Clans of Somalia suffer the indignity of underrepresentation in legislatures and Federal Member States

A similar problem faces marginalised clans in Middle Shabelle whose MPs and Senators will be selected under the watch of Hirshabelle State. Why should Federal Member States that relegate half or more of the locals to a lower citizenship status through underrepresentation oversee election of MPs and Senators from marginalised Somali clans? The Electoral Law of Somalia contains provisions for electing MPs and Senators from disputed areas and regions where elections cannot take place.

Instead of deepening the political underrepresentation of marginalised Somali clans the National Independent Electoral Commission coud do better by making sure that representatives from marginalised Somali clans elect their MPs and Senators without subsuming them under Federal Member States that institutionalise and benefit from the political underrepresentation of Somali citizens.

© Puntland Post, 2020