By Mohamed Abdiqafar Haji Hussein.
The Somali Parliament ousted Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre on July 25, 2020. The Speaker of the Parliament blamed Khayre for ineffectiveness and failing his promise to prepare the country for one-person-one-vote elections in 2021. President Farmaajo has said several times that he wanted to accomplish during his term the goal of a one-person, one-vote, to allow people to choose their representatives in Parliament in which he is still insisting to take place. However, it’s impossible for that to happen within the timeframe left in his term, due to insecurity, tensions with the Federal Member States and lack of census, voter registrations, technical and logistical requirements needed to be put in place before an election can take place.
The chairwoman of the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), Halima Ibrahim (Yarey), has reported to Parliament that they would need at least 9 to 14 months before a one-person one-vote system can be put in place. President Farmaajo welcomed that idea, since the delay will allow him to prolong his rule.
Prime Minister Khayre opposed that plan and his office issued a statement stating that the election should take place on time with no extension, and the election model should be agreed upon by stakeholders, just as happened in the previous government when they failed to establish a one-person, one-vote system. When the President realized that his Prime Minister differed on this issue, by siding with the regional leaders, it became apparent that the Farmaajo had no choice but to remove PM Khayre from his post.
As soon as the President returned from the Dhuusamareeb meeting, he was reported meeting with key Parliamentarians to discuss the issue. A day later, on July 25, the Parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Khayre and ask the President to appoint a new Prime Minister.
As soon as the news came out, Farmaajo accepted the Parliament’s decision and committed to appointing a Prime Minister, without giving Khayre an opportunity to serve for the transition. The President also issued a decree appointing the deputy PM to temporarily take over the PM position. Some reports stated that the Prime Minister was even denied the opportunity to hold a press conference . Clearly, President Farmaajo orchestrated and was behind these action of ousting the PM abruptly.
Many people have stated that the Parliament has the right to hold the government accountable if it fails to accomplish its tasks, and that is true, the Parliament is the representative of the people. Their job is to hold the government accountable. It is also a fact that the Khayre government failed to accomplish the tasks that it should have in its term. But the members of Parliament were not sincere in their actions. They have failed their primary duty of government oversight, by looking the other way for three and a half years, when it was clear that the government was not moving toward to accomplishing its goal. A few months ago, when it was clear that a one-person, one-vote system was not possible; the members of Parliament did not do anything regarding the government’s failure. However, when the members of Parliament without any deliberations decided that the blame was directed only at the Prime Minister, even though it was known that the President and Prime Minister were on the same ticket.
It is a slap in the face for the Somali people for the members of Parliament to tell its citizens that they realized the government’s failure just few months before its term was about to conclude, when for the last three and half years, it was widely known what the government was up to. Now you may hear many people calling President Farmaajo a dictator. Still, one thing people do not realize is that before – want to be dictator turn into a dictator, he is accorder the environment to grow into a dictator, so as President Farmaajo. President Mohamed Siyad Barre did not become a dictator overnight. He took few steps, by which he was testing the reaction of the people. When the people did not respond with protest to those actions, he came to believe that he could do anything he wanted, without anyone raising a finger. Here, today, we have the same process all over again. President Farmaajo tested the Somali people a few times, especially those in Mogadishu, to see what their reaction would be, and so far he has gotten away with it.
The President publicly attacked the opposition leader Abdishakul Warsame’s home, and in the process, people died. No one said anything, and people concluded that President Faramajo and Prime Minster Khayre were on the right course.
Qalbidhagax was transferred to the Ethiopians, and even though a lot of Somalis opposed nothing tangible came of it. Three ex-presidents who hailed from Mogadishu were refused permission at one time or another to move freely within the country, and no one demonstrated in Mogadishu.
Now, the Prime Minister, who was working with the President was ousted without a motion in Parliament, and people are still debating who will be the next Prime Minister!
At this point, nothing is going to stop President Farmaajo, if he states that he wants to extended his term in office for another two years just, to see how people would react before he says another four years, and so on, until the Somali people realize it has been over 21 years already.
Opposition leaders now keep repeating that they will not recognize President Farmaajo as chief of state after February 8, 2021, if he is still in the seat, but more concrete plans are needed. Every regional leader or opposition group leader needs to show President Farmaajo a preview of what is to come if he insists on remaining in his seat without holding an election.
A simple demonstration of the people against what is going on would do it. This demonstration, no matter how small it is, would send a signal to President Farmaajo that the Somali people would never accept another dictator.
But if all the stakeholders that includes the Somali people, FMS and opposition leaders just want to talk from behind the podium without any action, expect the same Farmaajo to remain inoffice.
It is certain that if the President Farmaajo keeps hearing from concerned citizens only – talk the talk but no walk the walk- he may be our ruler for the next 17 years, (21 minus 4 years of his term), just like the previous dictator.
Mohamed Abdiqafar Haji Hussein
Email: [email protected]
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