By WardheerNews editorial
As Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble promises to conclude the belated elections by February 25, 2022, multiple challenges are clouding Somali politics. Elections have been delayed for more than one year. Any miscalculation or failing to deliver on this promise could easily derail the objectives for a full recovery of Somalia.
Tensions and disagreements between Somali leaders and the Continued Al Shabaab operations both inside and outside the capital are the major factors contributing to the lack of success in completing the elections. The most devastating suicide bombs, which claimed over 500 lives and millions of dollars’ worth properties, took place on October 15, 2017 shortly after Farmaajo assumed the office.
As the election schedules were finalized this month, again the new year was greeted yet with another daunting suicide bombing killing scores of Somalis. In between, we have had thousands of innocent lives lost under Farmaajo. Meanwhile, mounting evidence surfaces confirmed the planned infiltration of Alshabaab in the National Security Agency of the country (NISA). Many opposition leaders allege that such a recruitment of Alshabaab terrorists is by design.
With each terror incident, fear sets in and both social and business confidence in the country are undermined.
Worse, Alshabaab’s grip on controlling many districts in Jubbaland, Southwest, Hirshabeelle, and Galmudug never changed. In other words, Somali politicians, mainly Farmaajo’s inner circle members, have accepted Alshabaab as part of the political calculus and accordingly live with it. Some are even suspected of having an endearing relationship with Alshabaab, which insulates the terrorist infrastructure both inside and outside Mogadishu.
Governance has either stagnated or in some areas deteriorated. In Jubbaland, the regional administration has never established a functioning administration beyond 50 miles of the capital. Both Galmudug and Hirshabeelle never established any meaningful administration worthy of the nomenclature of Federal Member States. And their sister state, Southwest, is a one man show!
The most heartbreaking development in the last two years is the political deterioration of what hitherto was a hopeful region in an otherwise gloomy nation – Puntland was until recently a shining start of federalism and was expected to transition to a more democratic federal member state.
However, mismanaging the recent senate elections, the invasion of the parliament in 2020, the resignation of key leaders in the multiparty system project of one-person -one vote, and the senseless war between Puntland government troops and special forces of Puntland Security Forces (PSF) in Bosaso have dragged Puntland’s hopes to the gutters.
The mother of all these sad and the sudden decline in Somalia’s progress and its inability to foster a stable governance can be attributed to the autocratic and destructive nature of Mohamed A Farmaajo, weak institutions, and failed leadership of the federal member states.
Elected by an active legislative body on Feb 2017, his four-year term officially ended over a year ago. For four years he was given full legitimacy and mandate, but he failed to govern the country through consensus. To the contrary, he initiated an unnecessary war with his nemesis in Jubbaland and Puntland. He cleverly succeeded in dividing the federal member states into feuding camps.
Moreover, he regularly violated the constitution. In his early days, he is remembered for his handing over a Somali army veteran, Abdikarim Qalbi-dhagax, to Ethiopia only to be released by Abiy Ahmed as part of the latter’s earlier efforts to democratize Ethiopia. Farmaajo followed this egregious act with a treasonous act of sending Somali soldiers into the Ethiopian civil war.
Violations of the rule of law are too many to account. Suffice to cite here the attempted murder of Abdirahaman Abdishakur, chairman of Wadajir Party, the unending sabotage of Jubbaland, revival of the dangerous clan rhetoric in political gatherings, and the futile move to fire a sitting Prime Minister.
The country is at a crossroads. To move forward the following must be attained:
1. The election must take place in time as scheduled by the the National Consultative Council. If delayed this time, legitimacy crisis for both the President and the Prime Minister is certain.
2. There should not be any more extension for the President. If elections don’t take place on time, the President must vacate Villa Somalia and power be transferred to the speaker of the upper house.
3. The Prime Minister and Federal Member States leaders should not corrupt the (s)election procedures of the lower house, and should maintain the independence of the electoral bodies, traditional elders and civil society to administer the process.
4. International community should consider designating spoiler (s) anyone that seeks to derail the targeted election day.
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