Februay 9, 2015 – Moment Union – I strongly believe that the prospect of holding political election, to some extent, complies with the concepts, norms, and processes of a democratic electoral process in Somalia in 2016 is not only doubtful or impossible but also unwise under current government and condition. That is why many Somali intellectuals are now suggesting different approaches to the choice of the next members of the federal parliament and new modalities for the election of the next president.
The major failure has been the inability of the federal government to provide the necessary leadership at the critical juncture that Somalia was progressing from 12 years of transition to a permanent post conflict stage. The Federal Government missed the opportunity to adhere to the constitutional responsibilities and required policies in peacebuilding and statebuilding in cooperation with the International Community.
Continuous political wrangling in the past two years that caused the dismissal of two Prime Ministers and the political quagmire facing the current Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid who is unable to form new cabinet beyond the constitutional one-month limit are some of leadership failures. Unfortunately, the federal parliament is impatient to take its two -month vacation soon after the issue of the new cabinet is settled. The conduct of Political Election requires credible institutional capability, sufficiently reliable security and rule of law, the enactment of laws on political parties and electoral system, and establishment of independent electoral commissions and political environment that guarantees free and fair election.
None of these requirements is in place. More importantly, Somalis are confused about the electoral constituencies. The public has to have confidence in the electoral system to accept the outcomes as legitimate. Any attempt to hold a political election without reliable census, voter registration, security, the rule of law, establishment of institutional capability able to handle electoral problems could exacerbate political conflicts and tensions within society.
The ad hock vision 2016 and President Hassan Sheikh’s six pillars have subverted the comprehensive obligations, mandates, and policy development process outlined in the provisional constitution. The responsibility of the federal government was to strictly adhere to the provisions of the provisional constitution and implement in sequence all the tasks listed in the constitution before the end of its term.
Nevertheless, in accordance with articles of 60 and 91 of the provisional constitution, the terms of the federal parliament and the president are four (4) years without extension. The constitution does not allow extension for both institutions. Therefore, there must be a new parliament and elected president before the end of their term in 2016. Somali people must take keen interest in this matter urgently.