Farmajo blamed for "sabotaging" direct elections in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was partly responsible for the failure of one-person-one-vote elections in Somalia, a top opposition has sensationally claimed, arguing that his administration failed to take advantage and reform the electoral system.
In a jibe directed to Farmajo, Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame insisted that the country plundered opportunity to choose leaders on the ballot as in the case of many countries, adding that Villa Somalia "let down the people at the most critical moment".
Farmajo, the opposition leader argued, invested much of his time in looking for an unconstitutional term extension besides undermining other stakeholders in the country, who would have led the Horn of Africa nation to the first universal suffrage polls just in 50 years ago when voters picked leaders.
"He had an opportunity to transform this country but squandered it," said the opposition boss. "He just diverted his attention towards term extensions but he failed due to pressure from the local leadership which understands his antics."
Warsame further called for "urgent and honest reforms" in the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA], which he termed as "fairly defective". The spy agency has hugely divided the political class in Mogadishu with the team accusing Fahad Yasin, the director, of mischief and bias in handling of the issues.
"NISA leadership has made a habit of meddling in politics, restricting the activities of the press & politicians alike and interfering with political meetings. In order to ensure electoral security, We demand that NISA's command structure be reformed," Warsame tweeted.
The entire opposition has been at loggerheads with Yasin, a former Al-Jazeera journalist and a close confidant of Farmajo. In many complaints issued to Villa Somalia, Yasin is painted as a "puppet" of Qatar, a country which has social-economic and geopolitical interests in Somalia.
Last week, the country brokered a pre-election deal following pressure from a number of international players. The deal provides that the country holds elections from November, which would see 101 delegates per constituency participating in the polls, which would be supervised at the constituency level.
Dubbed Constituency Caucus, the model has since been backed by stakeholders. But Warsame now wants Parliament, whose tenure expires next month, to expedite the approval process, adding that any delay could further plunge the country into an unprecedented crisis.
This comes as the Prime Minister-designate Mohamed Hussein Roble thanked Farmajo for nominating him to the position, pending approval by the Lower House. Roble, an engineer by profession, will replace Hassan Ali Khaire, who was hounded from office in July by MPs.
He said: "I wish to thank the president for giving me an opportunity to serve the people of Somalia. It's a step that I'll forever cherish. I will now move with speed to seek confidence from among MPs who have the mandate to vet and approve my appointment."
The country has traditionally used the clan-based model which is popularly known as 4.5. This system gives immense powers to elders in choosing MPs but the new model that will be approved by the Lower House is an improved version given that other stakeholders will also participate.
For years now, the international community has worked hard to ensure the war-torn nation has a functional government that is globally acknowledged. Farmajo is facing stiff competition from Warsame, Khaire, and former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.