Roundups of Somalia Election Model
GAROWE, Somalia-This week has been so tense in Somalia, with diplomats from the African Union, IGAD, Ethiopia, Kenya, Italy, Sweden, UK, EU, US and Uganda trying to subdue political tensions over newly adopted electoral proposal. Garowe Online takes a closer look at the timeline of events.
27.01.2016 Somalia’s Federal Government introduced an electoral proposal noted with both enthusiasm and concerns among regional Member States and the key political actors. Under the new model, Lower House will based on traditional 4.5 power sharing formula, and 54-member Upper House would have 48 representatives to be divided equally among Six Federal Member States while Puntland and Somaliland will enjoy additional three seats each given their political maturity and size in regions compared to existing and prospective administrations.
28.01.2016 Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali swiftly refuted any concessions and compromise that takes Puntland concerns into account, saying the proposal doesn’t serve the interests and wider public opinion in the northeastern State. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was at the time in Kenya for national mourning held for Kenyan peacekeepers killed in apparently coordinated assault on a base in southwestern El Ade village. Ali insisted that he will put the final decision back in the hands of Puntland people during a news conference at the heavily fortified Villa Somalia presidential compound.
Citing signs of a hypocrite in Islam, former Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole said whoever possesses four traits is a hypocrite; when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise, when he disputes he transgresses and when he makes agreement he violates it. While thanking international community members for their unwavering support for Somalia and commitment to the country’s political gains, Farole stressed—hands off--when it comes to domestic politics.
30.01.2016 Somaliland Interior Minister Ali Mohamed Waran Adde poured cold water on any representation in Mogadishu talks, once more reiterating that Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of the country in 1991. Meanwhile in Mogadishu, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke warned of political instability if the proposal fails to garner enough support across the country. He defended the deal and deemed 4.5 quota critically appeasing in a major blow to Puntlandopposition to any process ushering in the controversial scheme.
04.02.2016 Former Puntland Education Minister Abdi Farah Saed (Juha) in a veiled jibe criticized Puntland’s waning role in national affairs. Moreover, he commended the region’s position on the proposal endorsed by international community representatives.
08.02.2016 Traditional leaders shared the same views as Puntland government, rallying around the government in its objection to the unilaterally adopted model.
09.02.2016 New United Nations envoy to Somalia Ambassador Michael Keating arrived in Garowe on first visit since being appointed to the post. His delegation sought to get understanding of how political and community leaders feel about 4.5 quota, and conferred with people across various spectrums on new electoral proposal.
10.02.2016 Accompanied by former Vice President Abdisamad Ali Shire and his cabinet members, Abdirahman Mohamed Farole sat down with foreign diplomats covering Somalia at PuntlandDevelopment Research Center (PDRC). Farole told visiting delegation that 4.5 is something of the past, obsolete and dysfunctional model that dodges rights of people.
“The Puntland people and its current leadership are within their legal and constitutional rights in rejecting the unilateral election blueprint proposed by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for the upcoming federal election,” said former Puntland President. He called the proposal ‘unilateral blueprint re-election campaign’ by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud before diplomats.
“This may not give Puntland any other option but to stay out from this process. Things went too far, Somalia has yet to reconcile,” Farole concluded. Similarly, civil society groups said in a written statement to international community that they are cool to return to 4.5 formula.
11.02.2016 Speaking at a joint press conference with Keating, President Ali said there’s no agreement on the exact model Somalia should adopt for 2016 elections.
“Our stance reflects on the wider public opinion in Puntland, they came to see what the will of our people is, they met with different segments of society including civil society groups, traditional leaders, parliamentarians, politicians and the government,” he said.
Firing a salvo in brewing dispute regarding election model, he went on: “They have grasped enough of required views, and there’s no agreement,” adding that they won’t rule out possibility of further discussions on Somali agenda again.
Meanwhile, Keating opted for more modesty position on the debate: “We shared concerns that this model is imperfect, that it doesn’t represent Somalia honoring the commitment it made to itself. International community also wants to support many years ago that Somalia would move away from 4.5, we recognize that and we believe that it still may be the least path of options before us”.
New UN envoy emphasized that fair and transparent elections do offer a way out of 4.5, and called for decisive actions and that trust be built if Somalia is to move forward.