By Yonis Ali
President Ahmed Abdi Kaariye Qoor Qoor’s council of ministers embodies Galmudug state unity a manifestation of a political maturity. President Qoor Qoor assembled a befitting reconciliation cabinet deserved of praise and encouragement from all partners of good will– regional, national and international.
President Qoor Qoor will go down in the annals of history as a political helmsman who took his luck with his political sailboat on uncharted waters to steady a threatening turbulence. A clear demonstration of this fact is his incorporation of political rivals, the likes of Ahmed Fiqi and Sabir Shurie, two high profile members of the Somali Federal Parliament and prominent opposition figures at that, into his cabinet.
From muted messaging to practical steps towards reconciliation through inclusive politics, President Qoor Qoor has been no public pledges and all about walking the walk. All these are new firsts and steps in the right direction for Galmudug. Whether he is acting on express or implied permission of puppeteers or he is acting on his own accord, President Qoor Qoor presented himself as and left everyone with the impression that he is not being anybody’s captive. We await to learn official documents, when it is declassified, how he convinced the Nabad iyo Nolol lords to accept this political summersault.
Coming hot on the trailblazing heels of Dr. Mohamed Gacal and Amb. Fiqi contesting and clenching the stewardship of Galmudug and Southwest parliaments respectively; Hons. Fiqi and Sabir taking up executive responsibilities at the regional level creates renewed hope in the viability of Somalia’s nascent federalism. The same also gives steam to the building blocks and bottom-up state building approach, touted by some as more sustainable.
The more high-profile entities find the humility and courage to staff regional governments, the more the success of Somalia’s federalism increases. Consequently, this will serve in opening up of the federal member states as arenas of high politics and, therefore, incubators for development.
With the likes of Dr. Gacal and Amb. Ali Fiqi as assembly speakers; and Ahmed Fiqi and Sabir Shurie both Federal MPs as active players in regional level politics, Somalia has a reason to be optimistic. As I sounded off how the bar has been raised for regional parliaments with the coming into play of personalities such as Dr. Gacal and Amb. Fiqi taking the mantle, it would not be long before focus and prestige moves away from federal institutions (parliament, executive and judicial) to membership of counterpart institutions at the regional level.
Keen observers can’t wait to see an old hand like Fiqi, if confirmed for the position, in action acting in his element. Of course, it would be interesting to see how, with his big profile and experience in security and politics, he conducts himself and eases out into the role. Of course, it’s one thing to be in the activism of opposition politics and quite another to have a direct responsibility over a portfolio as completed as security in Somalia. But even then, for the first time we have a situation in our hands where the feet are too big for the shoes.
As the mother of Somalia’s federalism and with its relatively more developed institutions and personnel capacity over the years, Puntland is not being compared here, for doing so would be unfair to both Puntland and the other federal member states.
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