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Gurmad Calls for Transparent Electoral Process in Somalia

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Saturday August 06, 2016 - 09:24:42 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Gurmad Calls for Transparent Electoral Process in Somalia

    The highly centralized and monopolized political set-up and the failure to create many of the mandated representative bodies adds up to a skewed system in which the state instrumentalities are exceedingly becoming a campaign organization of the incum

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The highly centralized and monopolized political set-up and the failure to create many of the mandated representative bodies adds up to a skewed system in which the state instrumentalities are exceedingly becoming a campaign organization of the incumbent president. The current power-holders rely on presidential patronage and lack independent constituencies thereby stunting the development of potential rivals and creating a powerful national network of dependents.

Gurmad Calls for Transparent Electoral Process in Somalia

 

Background

 

Somalia’s forthcoming parliamentary and presidential "elections”, present a formidable challenge if they are to produce widely accepted and credible results. The weakness of state institutions, the deteriorating security situation and the fractured political scene are all highlighted by – and will likely have a dramatic effect on – the electoral process.  As the constitutional mandate of the president and parliament are set to expire in a few weeks’ time, August and September 2016 respectively, Somalia faces a constitutional crises and vacuum in governance. 

 

There is an inexplicable ambiguity on the timelines and modalities of the selection process and a myriad of legal and constitutional challenges surrounding the 2016 elections. The presidential elections in particular expose a highly centralized political patronage system in which the head of state wields enormous powers, bringing personalities rather than policies to the fore. During the past year, the poor relationship between the branches of the state saw the Somali legislature ignored or overruled and its effectiveness greatly reduced by usurpation of its legislative authority by the National Leadership Forum (NLF) as well the absence of any role for judiciary and political parties. The lack of an accepted constitutional arbiter means that even simple technical electoral processes have become highly charged political contest. 

 

The highly centralized and monopolized political set-up and the failure to create many of the mandated representative bodies adds up to a skewed system in which the state instrumentalities are exceedingly becoming a campaign organization of the incumbent  president. The current power-holders rely on presidential patronage and lack independent constituencies thereby stunting the development of potential rivals and creating a powerful national network of dependents.

 

Since interference and pressure on officials is to be expected in Somalia, ensuring a transparent and accountable appointments process for government positions is all the more important over the electoral cycle. Therefore, in order to prevent all attempts to monopolize the electoral process or secure an illegal and unjustifiable extension for a failed leadership, Gurmad and its presidential candidate, Dr. Abdinasir Mohamed, offer the following recommendation regarding the electoral process for 2016:

1.     Electoral Calendar: A credible and timely electoral calendar needs to be sustainably consolidated and clearly laid out before the Somali people. Currently, there is no consensus as to when the legislative and executive branch elections will take place. A widely accepted decision is necessary for planning and to ensure the issue is not left to the political expediency of the incumbent office holders especially in light of the unconfirmed reports which suggest that the election may be delayed. 

2.     Government Resources: No government department should be allowed to contribute to the political campaign of a candidate or provide him/her with public resources unless equal conditions and facilities are considered for all candidates. Furthermore, no candidate, including the incumbent president, should be allowed to use public resources for electoral campaigning unless similar conditions are provided to all candidates by the government.

3.     International Community & AMISOM: The international community and AMISOM troops should take steps to create a fair playing field for all candidates and political organizations. Moreover, every effort should be made to ensure that foreign funds and resources are not used in a manner which will be perceived as benefiting a particular candidate.

4.     Observers: International election observers should be present in all voting location and ensure transparency and that proper measures are in place to curb vote buying, intimidation, manipulation and graft at all levels of the voting process.

 

Gurmad and its candidate, Dr. Abdinasir Mohamed, reiterates that an electoral process is only as good as the environment it takes place within and the electoral bodies driving and safeguarding it. Therefore, a fair campaign period, the conduct on voting day(s) itself, and the count and certification of results will determine the legitimacy of the upcoming elections. 

 

Finally, Gurmad emphasizes that, if public confidence is to be upheld, Somalia’s 2016 electoral process need to be of a technically high standard, administered fairly, with robust oversight and impartial adjudicators.

 

 

For more information, please contact Gurmad at: [email protected] or visit: www.gurmadforsomalia.com.




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