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Friday February 28, 2020 - 07:51:29 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    SUNATIMES.COM - It does not look like an election in which all stakeholders can agree the outcome would take place in Somalia at the end of this year. However, those who support President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo believe the election will happen at

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SUNATIMES.COM - It does not look like an election in which all stakeholders can agree the outcome would take place in Somalia at the end of this year. However, those who support President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo believe the election will happen at the end of the year. Still, one thing for sure is that stakeholders will not agree with the outcome of any election, unless the president changes his attitude toward how the election would be conducted.
When the president campaigned, he said that he would hold an election based on one person one vote at the end of his term, but this is no longer seems likely given the amount of time left before the election, the security situation, the lack of will and preparation for such an election. Since the constitution has not yet been finalized, the government, which has failed to prepare an election based on one person one vote, has not yet come to its senses to include all the stakeholders in discussions on the election process.

When the previous president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, realized that an election based on one person one vote, which in his campaign he promised he would organize, was not possible with only two years left in his term, he called all the state leaders together for a consultation. As a result, an election took place in 2017 and all agreed on its outcome.

For this current government, with about eight months left before the election is supposed to be held, all the stakeholders are still waiting to hear what type of election will take place. Some suspect that the government may be planning to ask for an extension of its term. However, the Somali people will not allow the president just to extend his rule or to hold an election whose outcome is known before it happens, like the elections in Southwest and Galmudug.

It is time for President Farmajo to come to his senses and realize that the type of election that was run in Southwest and Galmudug cannot happen in Mogadishu. President Farmajo needs to declare that his government has failed to organize the type of election that he promised for the Somali people. He must openly sit down with all the other stakeholders, that includes the Federal Member States and hold an election that is free and fair and where there is a level playing field.

In recent interview, the president told a Universal TV reporter that as the leader of his party which he did not register yet, he would hold an election based on one person one vote. With less than eight months to go, it cannot be a fair election.

President Farmajo may still think the election in Galmudug was very successful. With the states on his side, he will be able to reelect himself, but he needs to ask himself whether he is ready to accept the consequences of such an election. Four presidential candidates in Galmudug withdrew the minute they found out that the government was committed to getting its candidate elected by any means necessary.

The president of Galmudug, Ahmed Duale Gelle (Xaaf), and Sheikh Mohamed Shakir of Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a declared their presidency in South Galkayo and Dusmareb, respectively. It is reported that there are more troops in Dusmareb than people to ensure the safety of the city. Galmudug was more peaceful before the government became involved.

The people of Galmudug will not accept a president who has been chosen for them by the Somali government and airlifted from Mogadishu. President Farmajo should look at the consequences of the election he created in Galmudug and ask himself whether he is ready to be a president in Mogadishu if three or four other people are also declaring themselves as the true president of Somalia in the same way that he is planning to declare himself president, that is, by ignoring the constitution.

Still, even if President Farmajo thinks he is leading Somalia on the right path, the facts on the ground are different. When asked about his accomplishments in the last three years regarding his campaign pledges, the president himself admitted that he kept one prime minister as that is an accomplishment and that the other tasks need more time than he anticipated.

It is no coincidence that the speaker of the parliament, the president of Southwest, and the president of Galmudug are all ex-ministers of President Farmajo’s government. It is shameful for the president to think that the Somali people can be fooled all the time and won’t notice his actions. The number of people killed in Mogadishu recently is probably more than the total over the previous eight years. The election process, which the president has said would be historic, will not be accepted by the Somali people.

To avoid the worst setback the Somali government could ever experience, the president needs to change his attitude. He needs to call all the stakeholders together, including the opposition groups, to discuss what type of election can be held in the short time that is left of his term. I am sure that the Somali people are capable of devising a system whose result is acceptable to all.

Anything less than that would be looking for trouble and returning Somalia back to the years when two people used to claim they were the lawful president.

Finally, Puntland and Jubaland states and the opposition group should not allow President Farmajo to call a meeting in Mogadishu whose sole purpose is for a show with a predictable outcome like he did in Southwest and Galmudug states, just to show to the Somali people and the international community that all sides are participating in devising the election, and then later to claim that those who opposed the election at the last minute are working for foreign interests.

Mohamed Abdiqafar H. Hussein

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