By AbdiQani Badar
The recent Dhuusamareb meeting between the president, the prime minister and six regional leaders has provided enough evidence that President M. C. M. Farmaajo, his Prime Minister M. X. Rooble and four other regional leaders – A. C. K. Qoorqoor, C. H. M. Laftagareen, C. M. M. Filish and C. C. X. Guudlaawe – are willing to compromise on the overall issues at hand for the sake of the nation.
The main issues that these gentlemen showed great flexibility are the Gedo region, Banadir representation, Somaliland representatives selection and the election committee makeup. It is unfortunate however the meeting has ended in fiasco.
Now that we see that there is no way to come to an agreement with the parties who do not want to compromise, it is logical to believe that it is plausible to go to the elections without Puntland and Jubbaland in board or extend the mandate of the government and the People’s Assembly after February 8.
It is in the president’s responsibility and in his prerogatives to avoid a power vacuum that may create chaos beyond his mandate without a deal with opposing parties. Further delays and current uncertainty only embolden forces opposed to Somalia’s road to recovery and thus work against the nation’s best interests.
We have witnessed foreign countries’, namely the Emirates, Kenya and Djibouti, attempting to discredit the president or fuel a toxic political discourse for the last few months. Opposition leaders, Hassan Sheekh, Ahmed Madobe and Said Deni in particular, who are supportive of these foreign governments, are jeopardizing the reconstruction process, the hard-gained stability and the public confidence in the ruling class.
Having previously signed an agreement with the president in September 2020, Said Deni and Ahmed Madobe recent intransigence demonstrates a disregard for established procedures, the public interest and the future of Somalia’s unity.
Mr. Farmaajo, by succumbing to pressure from the international community to strike a deal with the same people who ignored previous deals, risks losing the support of regional leaders weary of the endless rounds of negotiations.
Giving too much time and credit to two individuals unwilling to compromise and honor a signed agreement would surely create an atmosphere where the most ardent supporters would lose faith in the president.
To save the country, the opposition, including the self-styled Committee of presidential candidates, must tone down their aggressive rhetoric and disruptive actions, and facilitate an atmosphere conducive to a smooth electoral process. That is in the interests of a united and stable Somalia. Their reactionary stance can cost them more than just a presidential seat.
The opposition would obviously never be satisfied with any actions taken by the government and would amplify their bickering.
However, President Farmaajo should give more consideration to the rest of the nation’s expectations. They want a leader who knows what he’s doing. And any decision about the fate of the nation should only be taken at this crucial time by the president-elect and the people’s representatives, not foreign diplomats.
Those who predict a doomsday after Feb 8th should know Somalia today is not what it were 10 or 20 years ago. The country has evolved and political class has matured. The only risk in sight is that the main terror group, Al-Shabaab, may use the current political feuds to strike back as they did recently in some regions.
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