El Wak Election Violates Letter and Spirit of the Electoral Model

By Adan M. Dawad

(Comment) — The 17 September Somalia electoral model designates Garbaharey as an election venue. The election of 16 MPs at El Wak in the presence of Jubaland President Ahmed M. Islam, a signatory of the electoral model, violates a fundamental political agreement on which the indirect elections are based.

Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) are divided on the El Wak election. Only one wing of FEIT lends legitimacy to the El Wak election. President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed called for a solution to the parallel elections being organised at El Wak and Garbaharey.

The legitimacy of the new federal parliament will be called into question if MPs elected on dubious methods are allowed to be sworn in. There is still a role for the new Parliament to resolve a tricky electoral situation that will have a negative impact on all MPs if the representation rights of people of Gedo get reduced to a political battleground for two groups.

Granted that irregularities have marred elections so far, but the manner in which Jubaland MPs is being elected in El Wak adds infamy to an already compromised elections. What can Somalis expect from a bicameral legislature with nationally diminished legitimacy? Any laws passed by the two houses will not have any authority. This might become a blessing in disguise in reversing the top-down approach to governance that has been taking shape in Somalia for the last five years.

Adan M. Dawad