Op-Ed: The promise of Election in Somalia: Power and bribery

Somalia is heading to the indirect election, while the country plagued and divided by protracted social conflict, and also the current situation has been heated up by seismic waves of the electoral contest between Federal Government and the Federal Member States. Furthermore, Somali’s last universal suffrage was held in 1967, where then the democratically elected president was ruthlessly assassinated. Following years of political brinkmanship and wanton vandalisms which has impacted on every aspect of the hoi polloi and the country at large.
Since the collapse of the federal government of Somalia in 1991, the country experienced chaos and statelessness. Emerging from prolonged conflict and religious extremism Somalia has yet to achieve holding free and fair elections throughout the country, and it remains a distant mirage to be held.
The transparent election has been elusive in a number of African countries. Even those come to an end internecine warfare and communal conflict are complex to carry out democratic elections, while others teetering on the precipice due to the negation of effective democracy. For countries like Somalia which have done tremendous efforts in state-building lacks strategic objectives to implement an inclusive and democratic election. Despite the electoral process in Somalia hindered and dominated by clan elites and segmented politicians who are jostling for the mantle of leadership.
After concluding the electoral tussle between the Federal Government and the Federal Member States on 17 September 2020, the promise of universal suffrage in the country is just pie in the sky. A timely election was the crux of Somalia’s first priority, which has been widely discussed by the federal government and federal member states and the International Community as well. However, the electoral model agreed upon stipulates indirect election, where MPs will be {s}elected through his/her constituency in collaboration with federal member states and traditional leaders, while the president will be elected by {s}elected MPs.
Moreover, President Farmajo’s adamant promise to reach the country transparent election is in vain and perceived as the wasted time during his tenure. However, the election is expected to be reliant upon a canvass among contestants regardless of ethnicity, but Somalia’s election is quite different, and it is considered to be riddled with exorbitant bribery and graft. The upcoming election of presidency and parliaments will be based on clan power-sharing formula 4.5, which is obvious to see those seeking top echelons of government to get in power at any costs.
The primacy of free and fair election is to offer the advantage of establishing post-conflict state-building and reducing the need for long, costly and politically unpalatable turmoil. On one hand, the indirect election is problematic for Somalia’s fledgeling democracy and it jeopardizes on the path towards democratic, stable and prosperous Somalia, on the other hand, it hamstrings accountability, cultivates recrimination and gnaws away at the progress has been made.
All in all, both the Federal government and Federal member states ought to give amply financial supports and well-trained opportunities to those assigned to vote for MPs in order to extirpate bribery and corruptions in the parliamentary election. If the {s}election of a parliamentarian is fair enough, then it would be possible to have a transparent presidential election, which can be insulated from meddling. However, OPOV could be a panacea for Somalia’s civil strife, of course, it would have been palliative for the political nemeses in the country by allowing ordinary citizens to seek their basic rights at the ballot box.

About the AUthor
Mohamed Abdalle is in his Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Management at Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya. He can be reached via Mabdalle@yahoo.com or Twitter @Mabdalle1


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here