Somalia: The Electoral Rift Can be Solved to Prevent Further Delays

By Issa A. Hayle

Is the Somalia Presidency interfering with the electoral process or is the Prime Minister prolonging his tenure by creating new complications? If the selection of the Lower House MPs is all that remains to be done for Somalia to conduct indirect elections, new political rift should not delay elections. The press release from Villa Somali accuses the Prime Minister, Roble, of undermining the electoral process. Roble countered that Villa Somalia plotted to derail the election. Much depends on how Federal Member States expedite the selection of MPs. That is why the political rift between President Mohamed and Prime Minister Roble should not dishearten stakeholders.

President Mohamed accused his PM of undermining the electoral process.

Roble is under pressure from the Union of Presidential Candidates whose members have recently accused the PM of kowtowing to Villa Somalia when in fact he wasn’t. The assignment to prepare Somalia for elections is a tougher milestone to be achieved. Giving an indirect role to the Union of Presidential Candidates to determine the integrity of the electoral process is uncalled for. They will raise objections to any development they do not view as favourable.

Roble, the Prime Minister, countered that Villa Somalia has plans to derail the election.

To prevent the new electoral rift from turning into a messy power struggle, a consultative summit attended by key stakeholders should take place. The Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) should not have been blamed for decisions being taken by the Federal Member States to select MPs. Federal Member States exercise more powers to conduct selection of MPs.

The electoral process is far more transparent than the Vision 2016 under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. It is quite encouraging that Federal Member States are free from pressures from Villa Somalia. Roble’s assignment is to facilitate the election, not to allow FEIT to become the source of an electoral rift. His failure to prevent further electoral delays necessitates an extraordinary electoral summit to finalise the selection of MPs.

Issa A. Hayle