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Somalia’s political stalemate signals rough road to transition

Hiiraan Online
Sunday, May 22, 2016

MOGADISHU (HOL) – Over one month has passed since Somali government has submitted the electoral process to the parliament in the hope of securing an immediate endorsement by the parliament amid pressure by donors to steer the country down to timely elections.

However, Somali lawmakers have since pushed back several attempts by the government to get an approval for the vote process as the country gears for the upcoming presidential election.


Power sharing arrangements in the upper house for the next legislative body remains the key sticking point with clan-based 4.5 power sharing formula was contracted to be used to allocate seats among the country’s 18 regions, reinstating a formula employed by the Siad Barre’s regime in which each region would secure 3 seats in the parliament.

In addition, dispute deepened as some Somali clans opposed the inclusion of Benadir region in which Somali capital locates to the power sharing system to have seats in the upcoming parliament.

The latter had however sparked protests by residents in Benadir region who insisted that suggestions by other clans to exclude them from taking their share in the power sharing system would be unacceptable.

In the meantime, experts warned that the stalemate could still mean months of political horse-trading that could lead to more delays in the presidential elections scheduled to take place in August.

Sources told HOL that failure in the approval of the electoral process by the parliament would lead to the president bypass parliament by claiming emergency powers to call for elections with the support of the United Nations Security Council, with failure by the president to do would also would also have the United Nations decide on the country’s election process.

The country’s major donors including European Union and the United States warned that failure to act quickly would ‘jeopardize’ the Somali political process and set Somalia several years back."

According to Somalia’s Provisional Federal Constitution, adopted in 2012, the mandates of the Somali Federal Parliament and of the government would come to an end in August and September 2016, respectively.

The international community which is spearheading efforts aimed at restoring peace and order into the Somalia which is recovering from decades of war mandated the current government to lead the country into general elections following the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a new parliament and the adoption of a new constitution in 2012.


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