Renegotiation of Electoral Model Could Undermine Integrity of Somalia Elections

Mogadishu (PP News Analysis) —
Integrity is the key word used by Somalia’s International Patners when they comment on the indirect elections. It is a word that has many different meanings to different people. To the Union of Somali Presidential Candidates integrity means the ability to decide the outcome of MPs selection. They seek powers to override outcomes validated by Federal Member States or the Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT)

The integrity claim of the Union of Presidential Candidates rests on the argument that Villa Somalia influenced the outcome of presidential elections of three Federal Member States (Hirshabelle, Galmudug and South West State). They exclude Jubaland State from the list of states whose leadership they view as biased towards Villa Somalia. In 2019 Jubaland State conducted controversial presidential elections, nor were objections raised about the formation of Hirshabelle, (expanded) Galmudug and South West facilitated during the administration of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. For the International Partners integrity means addressing complaints made by the Union of Presidential Candidates about the selection of MPs.

Will the National Consultative Council members agree to the demands of the Union of Presidential Candidates to renegotiate key articles in the electoral model?

If FEIT gets disbanded what criteria will be used to nominate new members for a electoral watchdog? How can one ensure that the Prime Minister, Roble, is not partial to the Union of Somali Presidential Candidates?

The Union of Presidential Candidates agreed to the clause in the electoral model that granted Federal Member States’ parliaments the privilege to select Senators without the oversight of FEIT. If the recognized traditional leaders select MPs in the same manner as they did in 2016, the selection of the remaining MPs could proceed smoothly.

The Kismayo election today in which six MPs were selected is an unsavoury precedent that was conducted without the input of FEIT. Integrity has not been invoked. Which gives the word unique qualities and reminds one of Humpty Dumpy. “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less” Humpty Dumpty told Alice, in Alice in Wonderland.

The Federal Member States will not give more powers to the Union of Presidential Candidates. Last week, Puntland State President Said Abdullahi Deni warned against the mooted plan to form a national political council that will serve as a parallel government. If Federal Member States object to the renegotiation of the electoral model proposed by the former Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the planned summit for the National Consultative Council will have produced no results to expedite elections. An attempt to renegotiate the Somali electoral model could undermine the integrity of indirect elections.

© Puntland Post, 2021