Somali Presidential Candidates Decry Their Non-stakeholder Status

Mogadishu (PP News Desk) — Planned 2021 presidential elections in Somalia seem to have hit a snag. Two former presidents, a former prime minister and several presidential candidates have banded together to question an electoral progress not to dissimilar to the 2016 one.

The group calls for a reform of the process to select MPs and Senators. That’s a tall order for several reasons. The abrogation of the Electoral Law made a way for provisions that give Federal Member States a more active role in preparing Somalia for elections.

Top row: President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (left), former President Sharif Ahmed (middle) and Former President Hassan Sheikh (right). Bottom row: Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire (left), former Galmudug President Abdikarim Guled (middle) and Dahir Gelle, former Information Minister (right).

The electoral deal struck by the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States stipulates joint electoral commissions, and relegates the role of political parties to a non-stakeholder status. The ‘opposition politicians’ who oppose the electoral settlement will be hard-pressed to point out what is wrong with the electoral process now that Federal Member States have submitted their members for arbitration and joint electoral committees.

“The threat of electoral boycott is an attempt to hide their lack of credibility because it is an alliance of Aala Sheekh and Damuljadiid” says a Mogadishu-based political commentator.

Presidential candidates have no a role in the process to select MPs and Senators but this is not unprecedented. The incumbent government and Federal Member States collaborated on the 2016 electoral process. All electoral processes have been the outcome of the flawed 4.5 powersharing formula.

Let bygones be bygones: Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire (left) apologised to Presidential Candidate Abdirahman Abdishakur for 2017 security forces’ attack on the politician’s house in Mogadishu.

Yesterday, all opposition presidential candidates expressed dissatisfaction with the electoral process. The former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire apologised to Abdirahman Abdishakur, a presidential candidate, about a 2017 incident in which security forces attacked Wadajir party leader’s residence in Mogadishu. The belated solidarity of a group of politicians who view Mogadishu as their stronghold seems poignant in the eyes of some observers.

“In 2016 the pro-change alliance members were diverse and had ideas but the 2020 alliance is campaigning on an entitlement platform and shared clan affiliation. That does not bode well for Somalia” Mohamed Ali, a Kismayo-based lecturer told Puntland Post.

It is unlikely that another summit will be held to accommodate demands of politicians who supported an electoral model that gives more powers to Federal Member States.

© Puntland Post, 2020