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A Failure of Epic Proportion or “Boil the Frog” Politics: Somali political discourse
Monday April 30, 2018
By Ahmed Abdullahi Ugaas
Lawmakers in Mogadishu, Somalia prepare to elect a new Parliamentary Speaker. April 30th, 2018. PHOTO: TWITTER
As soon as president Farmajo is inaugurated, the prime ministerial hopefuls started campaigning and after a long deliberation of the president’s circles, the uncanny bystander, Hassan Kheyre, is selected. In fear of strong opposition from the powerful Mogadishu residents whose choice of prime minister is not honoured, Farmajo conducted a series of preemptive steps to suppress and eliminate the political dissidents.
The attack of Abdirahman Abdishakur’s residence and the massacre of his security entourage was a great tragedy and one that is feared to cause a political mayhem to the newly formed government. Surprisingly, the outcry of this attack and the extradition of Qalbi Dhagax, a former Somali military officer and a veteran of 77 war, to Ethiopia for prosecution, did not bring forth the political repercussions the government feared of and that made the regime more brazen and continued its use of force and intimidation to meet their political ends.
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An important member of the president’s team who was, at the time, the mayor of Mogadishu, Thabit Abdi, had opposed the despicable and unlawful raid of Abdishakur’s residence. Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the misstep and fixing the problem, the government swiftly forced Thabit to resign. Also, around that time, a prominent member of the Senate, Abdi Qaybdiid, had his house attacked and destroyed and the government shifted blame to UAE (Who is in charge, UAE or Somali Government?).
The speaker of the house, Jawari, opposed the DP/Somaliland port of Berbera deal and he brought a motion to the house floor to debate and vote. The house voted Nay to the deal, The PM and the president opposed the motion and indicated it is not timely (because they were waiting for DP World to give their part of the deal before they acquiesce to it) so the president and PM organized MPs to oust the speaker bribing them with public funds. It was obvious that they couldn’t persuade 2/3 of the MPs to sack Jawari so they resorted to intimidation and illegal voting tactics. Finally, the speaker decided to step down to save the country from bloodshed and political quack mire. Kudos Jawari.
Given all that, the pundits are out analyzing the discourse of Farmajo’s tenuous political tenure. Some attribute the governments unconstitutional actions to a political plot similar to Trumps “Boil the frog” strategy while others think it is a complete political failure of epic proportion in the governments part, and a testament to that is the latest statement from the deputy speaker of the house when he said “the constitution is stolen and we found it”. What a disgrace! Mr. Mudey owes an apology and explanation to all of us.
Conventional wisdom tells us that the regime will run out of quick wits to outmaneuver the opposition or the opposition itself will catch up to these plots (don’t they ever learn!). Either way, we will face a new political stalemate which will require the intervention of international community and that is a step in the wrong direction and a big disappointment.
Today’s election of the speaker of the house will tell us more about the psyche of the regime and how far they will go to grab the control of all three branches of government.
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