Coronavirus live updates: What you need to know

View More

Inside Somalia’s 2020 election: Fears and concerns

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's 2020 elections could reflect repeated delay and lack of commitment from stakeholders despite the continued assurance from the United Nations and other stakeholders, Garowe Online reports.

The highly anticipated elections have already irked political temperatures, with political parties intensifying campaigns in a bid to win majority seats.

While the United Nations supports the winner-takes-all model, the quest could be just 'wishful thinking' given inadequate preparations in reality.

Parliamentary ad-hoc committee on elections has been collecting views from across the Horn of Africa nation, trying to establish consensus on the election law.

James Swan, the UN special envoy to Somalia, on Monday, held a meeting with National Electoral Commission, in which they both assessed preparedness.

The international partners, Swan said, supports 'one person, one vote' model which they believe is 'less chaotic and more credible'.

"In Mogadishu today, @UN envoy to Somalia James Swan and international partners reaffirmed their support for 2020 'one person, one vote' elections in meetings with @NIECsomalia commissioners and Minister of Internal Security Mohamed Abukar Islow," read the tweet.

But despite the optimism from the UN, the winner-takes-all model could fatally flop, given that the country is yet to make any changes to changes to facilitate the plans.

In 2012, the UN-supported the model but the country failed to implement it. Notably, the UN-supported the government of that day, and outright interference of the people's will.

Political analysts say UN “fell short” of the commitment to put pressure on any government in power to create a peaceful environment, conduct a population census and complete the provisional constitution to realize the ambitious agenda for “one-person, one-vote” elections in Somalia.

Abdusalam Salwe, a former PS in Prime Minister's office, insists that the planned winner-takes-all model will not materialize, adding that it's 'unattainable'.

"Unless an extension is the agreed underlying tone, this is simply unattainable if not impossible. Soon we will tell you we told you so," he tweeted.

With 2020 fastly approaching and the irked political temperatures, enactment of the new constitution is basically a far-fetched idea.

Abdirahman Abdishakur, the leader of the Wadajir party, has also ruled out the possibility of having 'one man one vote', arguing that it will lead to term extension.

In a tweet on Monday, he said: "Anyone entertains the thought that there will be one person one vote elections in 2020 is paving the way for term extension."

"We have to confront realities & engage in dialogue to agree inclusive, timely, improved model of the election in accordance with the Constitution."

While the electoral agency has already backed the UN proposal, the team will face hard realities next year given than no electoral law has been adopted.

In a tweet on Monday, the Commission also confirmed the meeting with the United Nations envoy. The UN is one of the biggest financiers of Somalia.

"In Mogadishu today, the UN envoy to Somalia, James Swan, and international partners reaffirmed their support for the 2020 'one person, one vote' elections in meetings with commissioners from the country’s National Independent Electoral Commission," it stated.

Last month, Security Council welcomed the commitment by FGS at the Somalia Partnership Forum in October to adopt an Electoral Law by December 2019 in order to ensure that federal 'one-person-one-vote'.

Also, the Security Council welcomed the role of the NIEC in preparing for the election and reiterated the need for the Electoral Security Task Force to meet and to set out a plan as soon as possible.

Somalia cabinet had proposed a proportional representation model, which was unanimously rejected by Somalis during the parliamentary ad-hoc committee sittings.

The cabinet recommendations would lead to the loss of power-sharing and would make it difficult to hold elections, the committee's report said.

“They pointed out that this process could lead to the loss of power-sharing that the Somali people have agreed on, and pointed out that it is difficult to hold one-to-one elections at this time,” reads the report.

Based on the views collected, the committee noted, it unanimously agreed the First-Past-the-Post (FTPP) was the most appropriate electoral model.

President Mohamed Farmajo is facing fierce opposition from a group of opposition politicians under Forum for National Parties (FNP) whose leader is Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Wadajir party.

Besides holding credible polls, the UN has also expressed concerns over FGS interference in the internal affairs of the state governments.


Latest headlines