Somalia Upper House Chairman Needs Neither a Competitor nor a Political Best Man

By Adan M. Dawad

Hashi decided to have no a co-contestant

Mogadishu (Commentary) — The Chairman of the Somalia Upper House Abdi Hashi will probably be selected as a senator without a political best man (malxiis siyaasadeed) competing with him. The political best man is a new addition to the Somali political lexicon.

The electoral agreement grants Federal Member States the privilege to oversee the selection of Senators by Federal Member State Parliaments. This agreement gives Somaliland political leaders in Mogadishu an opportunity to exercise a similar authority during the selection process. Since Hashi even dispensed with the practice of selecting a make-believe co-contestant. Hashi, the co-chairman of Somaliland political leadership in Mogadishu, has handpicked 40% of the people who will cast their votes to select Somalialand Senators in Mogadishu.

Professor Abdi Samatar seeks to join a legislature he derides

The other surprising development is the inclusion of Professor Abdi Ismail Samatar, a vocal critic of the incumbent Somalia President, in the list of candidates. Only last week the BBC Somali Service interviewed him as an analyst on account of his past academic work on Somalia. He said that clan militias in Mogadishu may be revived if President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “does not change his way”. Who thought the Minnesota University Professor of Geography will become a torchbearer for warlordism?

Samatar is contesting one of the two seats allocated for Awdal. In April Professor Samatar called for clan militias in Mogadishu to kick out the United Nations Mission. The would-be senator from Awadal requires a political induction course on what to say and what not to say when political tensions rise.

By Adan M. Dawad