Sunday, May 29, 2022
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Free and Fair Elections or a Rigged one: Jubaland`s Senatorial Election Case

By Osman H. Mohamed

The elections of the two Houses of Somalia’s  Federal Parliament 2021, has been dragging for a long while due to bitter disagreement about the process between the sitting president, some leaders of Federal Member States (FMS) and the Presidential hopefuls. Such was the tension that some of these presidential candidates mobilized clan militia to enter Mogadishu and challenged the legitimacy of the federal government.

President Ahmed Madoobe

As Somalia went to the brink, thank God, wiser heads prevailed, and Somalia retreated from the abyss of another civil war. It is difficult to comprehend the mentality of some presidential candidates who wanted to resort to leading their clan militia to Mogadishu as a force of show and yet want to lead the very country and its people they are putting at great risk.

It will be recalled that the election for which a lot of effort has been expended started in Jubaland on 27 July 2021, for the Upper House, which is part of the elections for the two Houses of Somalia’s  Federal Parliament 2021. President Ahmed Islaan (Ahmed Madoobe),  issued a list of 8 candidates contesting the four of the eight seats of the  Upper House of Parliament. What shocked the public was the blatant corrupt manner in which the list was chosen, something never seen before. For example, Senator Fartaag`s seat was contested by his driver and Senator Iftin Basto by his brother in law. Candidate Abdirazak was contesting  Kombe’s seat held by Geri,  but the seat was turned into a Majeerteen closed seat, removing the Geri out of the process- altogether!. That was not the end but contestants of other sub-clans of the Harti were also excluded at the behest of the President from contesting their allotted seats.

President Ahmd Islaam`s electoral shenanigans has contaminated the election procedures, which until today its impacts is felt throughout Somalia and internationally.

What happened in Kismayo is sheer gross electoral abuse. In this regard, what most people find difficult to understand is how President Ahmed Islaan and  Deni, as well as the presidential candidates, who for a long time were calling for a free, fair and transparent election, could in the end endorse, or remain silent, to what amounts to a travesty of this process at the hands of President Ahmed Madoobe.

The question that arises is what explains for President Ahmed Madoobe  to act as an absolute ruler accountable to no one such that contestants or the public have no resort to justice which can hold him accountable?

Some may argue and blame the indirect electoral election (IE). Of course, although IE has its flaws some use it as intended while others like President Ahmed Madoobe, use it as carte blanche to do as he wants as if he was an emperor of the land.

It is incomprehensible that a national law invests power in this way in one man such as Ahmed Madoobe, with no accountability and respect for the rule of law. At a minimum, the contestants should have had their chance to run , with open and unfettered access but this was denied and the loser are not the contestants per se put the nation to the extent that many good candidates are excluded at the behest of the regional leader.

Presidents Madoobe ( Left) and Said Deni

It should be born in mind that President Ahmed Islam (Madoobe) is under the sway of the President of Puntland Said Deni, and when the later shows interest in one seat he gets his way, often with handsome money exchanged. That is how the candidate from Geri Koombe was denied to run for his seat which was given to a sub-clan of the Majeerteen who is funding   Deni`s election bid -wishful – run at federal level as Somalia’s president. And once again, Deni paid Ahmed Islaam handsomely for getting his friend and fellow clansman Abdirasak given the seat, without a competition.

That is how an election which was to be free, and fair has turned into a bazaar at all levels.

The manipulations and corruptions that started in Jubaland by Ahmed Madoobe, is a reflection of what would take place in the lower house election. And if anyone is expecting the lower house election to be fair, they should look back what has happened in the Senate election, particularly what has taken place in Jubaland and Puntland.

Somalia`s international partners have spared no effort to guide the Federal Member States and presidential candidates, but it is like talking to a wall. They persist in their ways. No doubt they have other leverages or sanctions at their disposal. It is time they do.

Osman H. Mohamed
Email: [email protected]

Somali version: Doorasho mise ku shubasho: Doorashada labada gole ee 2021

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