States do not come out of an oak or a rock, but from the character of the men who dwell in them. — Plato Somalia’s elections/ selection set for 8 February 2021 are predicted to elect/ select a new term of parliaments and president.
The upcoming election will shape the Somalia’s future politically, economically and socially of the next four years and may be a beyond. The Somalia election has faced much political stalemate between some Somalia regional states and Somalia federal government. Both sides have different view about the upcoming election.
The central government was seeking one vote one person election model while some the regional states decided the indirect election or previous election of 2016.
Neither federal nor regional sates are interested to address and prioritize the Somalia’s priority which including security, responding covid 19 pandemic , ending the Somalia’s cycle of corruption, dealing with ALSHABAB military means or political manner and pushing the idea of political talks and a way out of the armed conflict, cement of Somalia clans, proper foreign policy from front states, regionally to the internationally, institutional functionality or access to the justices for all segment of the Somalis’ society and improving services delivery.
However the word election is a new phenomenon in Somalia clan based political culture. It’s like cinema, computer and TV. It’s not like Cattle, Camel and goat herding which lived their ancestors for centuries and decades. In that view when an election comes in Somalia it needs political consensus and compromise. The clan itself is the one of the obstacles of Somalia political development.
It’s hinder because every clan seeking a lion shares for all the coming governments. The character of Somalia clan is a nomadic and wandering clan which difficult to understand fittingly the relationship between rule and ruler and clan and country. In this regard Plato said (States do not come out of an oak or a rock, but from the character of the men who dwell in them. —
In addition to that Somalia have many cultures which difficult to rid of. These cultures has many stages of development, from illiterate tribesmen, living much as their forefathers did, to modern, acceptable open society and professional men and women who have thrown off tribalism and adopt the way an individual society not clannish and nepotism society.
Furthermore the last six decades after Somalia decolonization, Somalia had faced many troubles of civil unrest, clan based fragmentation, anarchy and secession based on clan graveness which drove the country in to the some kind of dismemberment. Nevertheless Somalia had 60 years of independence and nine years of those 60 years had some kind of election with fraud and election malpractice as they told us our forefathers. In the remaining years there was a military junta rule and anarchy era which passed to totally failed state.
In this regard after a hiatus of election malpractice and decades of election fraud and rigging Somalia had established its first Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) which had legal authority for working the Somalia election, ensuring and delivering a franchise which means a Somalia citizen’s right to vote.
The EMBs have legal authority but in Somalia legal is nothing when came political crisis and clan mentality which needs consensus, compromise, agreeable and achievable political remedy. In this scenario the EMBs had been ejected and the Somalia federal and its federating units agreed to establish new EMBs based on political consensus. The political consensus its self is illegal one side and fragile in other side. The fragile scenario in Somalia is everywhere and anywhere.
Nevertheless the time is running and zero hours of Somalia’s upcoming elections are knocking the Somalia’s doors. Neither central government nor JUBALAND and its staunch ally of punt land are willing to concede or compromise. They are stay on course all the time. In this circumstances Somalia is trying hardly to return its normal life and political consensus and stability. The Somalia is also making its effort to return Somalia reputation locally, regionally and internationally. It’s also Somalia patriotic people are trying to end Somalia cycle of violence and Somalia political stalemate. All the mentioned efforts have been done but the road of Somalia stability and standing their foot is too long.
However Majority of the people whom I had interviewed believe that the upcoming election will be free and fair. Its optimistic view while others including ire opponent politicians lamented that the upcoming election will be fraud, freighting and sham election. Any way the reality underground told us that Somalia’s lack of security, Somalia’s loutish of civic education, decades of political and civic strife and lack of consensus of national Electoral Policy and Practice made the idea of free and fair election in Somalia complex and climax task.
However some emerging Somalia presidential candidate leaders are worrying and predicted the pessimistic view of the upcoming elections. The political stalemate between federal government leaders and its some regional state leader (JUBALAN and PUNTLAND) was intensifying and heating but finally have been reached consensus and political understanding. It’s not surprising that JUBALAN and PUNTLAND are political friends. They both look after their own interests and, as we all known, birds of a feather flock together.
In this regard there is a growing of mistrust from emerging political parties and some regional state leaders of the country about the upcoming elections modality, practicality, time suitability and eligibility. The question is where we going or heading? The government is telling us something and its handful opponents are decrying some else.
In general Somalia had experienced and faced many decades of an electoral malpractice But the current regime is scapegoat because they did not responsible and cannot be blamed what happened in the past although they have to have some kind of tolerance and responsibility to all citizens including Somalia emerging political parties and Somalia ire and unrealistic Somalia politicians.
In Somalia the political and social unrest caused by constitution which had many doubts, disputes and there is many confusions about the role of regional states. The regional state or federating units always blame the center. The question is what the role of regional states and what is the Somalia constitution allow them. Are they superior role or subordinate. Are they seeking federal based on the feeling or based on the Somalia draft constitution? What kind of the division of power between the center and regional states. Is the federal system help us or hinder us. All these had been not answered.
In addition to that The only logic way for getting credible and achievable Somalia election is for the government and regional to abide writing Somalia’s existing draft constitution not their feeling and their clan emotional dictations.
In the end of my synopsis there are genuine great challenges facing Somalia at movement about the Somalia’s upcoming elections. These great challenges including:
The first challenge is the dealing with central phobia mentality. Somalia had been ruled by the military junta, autocratic and tyranny regime with some kind of patriotic with an extreme tight grip on power. The tools of their stability at time had been purchased through markets of tyranny and terror. In this regard many people remembered the era of the tyranny so they have some kind of Somalia presidential place phobia. The central phobia leads many people towards hate, disintegration, disunity, dismemberment, rejection of very idea from muqdishu and finally secession.
The second challenges scenario will be convincing both punt land and JUBA land for accepting and participating the upcoming election. Both of them came from the current president’s clan constituency but they are always like Birds of a feather flock together. The two regional states believed as most important states when election comes. They have extraordinary demand from the central government. Punt land states always had terrible record about with every government in muqdishu. The federal government and its current leadership feel at loose end.
The third challenge is alarming, escalation and returning 1991 era and mob mentality. The year 1991 marked me as for so many other Somalia individuals, the beginning of a breakdown of Somalia political system and culture. A ragtag clan rebels were rising and mob mentality people were taking a leading role. The 1991 was black year, refugee year, hunger, gigantic hate, violence, disarray, chaos, and clan geographical partitions.
The fourth challenges will be the external influence which normal from regional sates of IGAD to the Arab league and OIC member states plus to the African union, UN, USA, EU and many others. All of those counties can play a vital role in the Somalia upcoming election and internal affairs.
It has been said some these counters are meddling the Somalia internal affairs and they became a part of the Somalia problem while many other countries played a positive and they did an honorable work for Somalia. Both sides will tell the history but we are optimistic and I believe that the international community did a valuable work in Somalia we appreciate for their work.
In the end of my synopsis I would like to suggest the following advises:
- Somalia today needs political compromise not confrontation. The confrontation and conflict will lead us towards confusion and uncertainty. De-escalation and reducing the alarming of civil war and political idiocy is also important for this time. Both sides of conflict need a magnificent dialogue to prevent a further political catastrophe. The Somalia society today need for progress and political stability not backward and returning the cycle of clan rule and culture of anarchy.
- With the clan politics in Somalia and clan mentality which is the only obstacle for the upcoming election we need deep reconciliation and unadulterated dialogue between the DAAROOD clan. The current president his Excellency FARJOO is came from that clan and two rejectionist states or opponent regional states (JUBALAND and PUNTLAND) from same clan. The real menace of Somalia political progress is DAAROOD clan against each other. It important that traditional leader, business leaders, prominent politicians , religious leaders of DAAROOD community to come together and get political remedy of the standoff created by their political leaders from federal level and regional states level.
OSMAN HASSAN SALAH (XASAN CADE)
Researcher, human rights analyst and director of center for research training and consultancy (CRTC) Email: email@example.com