By Mohamed Ismail Mohamed (Siibed), member of parliament, Puntland State
The people of Puntland State of Somalia know the behavior of the current administration and do not expect it to undertake the constitutionally mandated Electoral System. However, it appears that it has found friends to collaborate with its subversion of the process. These enablers come from unlikely places in the form of funders from the UN, EU, USA and UK.
Although, we do not doubt that these friends and funders have good intentions at heart in helping elections take place in Puntland and hence become experiment for the future election of the FGS, their predisposition to see that elections take place appears to override the electoral process as mandated by the Constitution of Puntland. Let them be aware that they are funding a process which does not follow the legal frame work for the elections as mandated by the Constitution of Puntland. In addition, its important/let them know that it is not the first time that those who govern Puntland deviated from the agreed rules of the governance of Puntland with severe consequences.
In 1998 the delegates who established Puntland and formed the first government agreed a charter which mandated that the government should draft a constitution, undertake census, hold elections and thereafter transfer the power to a democratically elected government within three years. Regrettably, we know the history related to the consequence of the violation of that charter. The consequence was that, after a short civil war, a small group of people usurped authority and used the state and its coffers as their own. This transferred the economic and military might of Puntland to whoever become the president and his kin through the years. The current beating of drums for elections is not far from a facelift for that old system, since it refuses to abide by the constitutionally mandated electoral system of Puntland.
It is known that Political Electoral Systems are guided by constitutions and electoral laws, and that the current administration in Puntland decided not to follow any. Therefore, providing a helping hand with funds from the world’s foremost democracies, may amount to subjugating the people of Puntland under a dictatorship that has intentionally deviated from the lawful electoral process. Alas, the intended outcome of what is being funded by the international partners/friends and engineered by the administration is not transparent and does not abide by the rule of law.
For your Information, the Constitution of Puntland stipulates that any outcome of Puntland’s elections must be based on some Articles, to name a few:
Article 6 (1): There will be a census every ten years for the population of Puntland.
No census has taken place so far, which is a desecration of the constitution by the current administration since 10 years has passed without census.
Article 44 (5): …The number of seats that a region will have in the House of Representatives and that of the members of District Councils will depend at any time on the number of people who live in that region or district.
Again, there has not been any census so far, which means the number of House Representatives from a region and district will be chosen, at will, by the administration.
Article 123 (2): Every district will have financial and managerial independence, and will be managed by the city council ….. The number of city council seats of every district will be determined by the number of residents and its land mass.
Thus far, there are no laws that separate the powers of Puntland State and that of the districts.
Article 138 (The Role of the Constitution):
- The Constitution of Puntland is the Supreme law of the land, except The Islamic Sharea.
- Any law, by-law and executive degree that does not conform to the Islamic Sharea and the Constitution of Puntland is null and void.
Obviously, the administration chose not to abide by the Constitution of Puntland, which renders all of its actions unlawful.
Therefore, instead of assisting in funding the violation of the Constitution of Puntland and its electoral process, we suggest that the funders vote with their resources in helping the administration to abide to the rule of law. This means, funders should condition their funding to be available only to the constitutionally lawful process or at least politically agreed upon process, rather than assisting the administration in engineering its desired outcome, which could lead to unintended consequences.
Hon. Mohamed Ismail Mohamed (Siibed)
Email: [email protected]
Hon. Mohamed Ismail Mohamed (Siibad) is an author, academic and a former Somali diplomat and has held different duties in Puntland State of Somalia. Currently, he is the Chairman of Mustaqbal Political Association and MP of Puntland State of Somalia.
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