On July 31, 2020, the Modern Federal Parliament of Somalia (House of the People) ousted former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in a vote of no confidence. Hassan Khaire was the longest-serving Prime Minister since the fall of the Somali state, and his tenure was marked with many noble achievements.
PM. Kheyre will remain in the controversial book of the Somali modern history. A virgin political starter who shined in his area of interest and failed in his areas of learning. His unison advocacy is one area where he achieved a lot and in a special way, I thank Hon. Kheyre for his sacrifice and service to the Somali nation.
A new Unity Government led by President Farmaajo with a statesman Prime Minister & “National unity cabinet” should now be formulated. After suffering decades of civil strife and statelessness, Somalia is finally making strides towards achieving functional statehood. The Federal Government of Somalia’s (FGS) current term is scheduled to end February 2021. Still, I propose that the FGS, under the said Unity Government, be given some technical extension so it may adequately prepare Somalia for its upcoming election.
While a noble goal, it is unrealistic that Somalia will be able to achieve a 1P1V national election by 2021. Somalis are famously known as Africa’s First Democrats; thus, democracy is not a new form of government for Somalis, but rather, it is their first form. Somalia was a multi-party democratic state from its founding in 1960 until the military coup of 1969. Electoral democracy is attainable, but proper steps must be taken for it to retake root.
The FGS has achieved enormous strides in governance, from restructuring Somalia’s armed forces to debt relief; inclusivity talk including full political goodwill is needed for the introduction of electoral democracy. For this noble goal to be achieved, the National Unity Government must be formulated so it can adequately bring together both sides of Somalia’s political coin.
One must ask, how Somalia can have a one man, one vote, when none of her federal member states has had any, in a case where Puntland state boasts of advance democracy compared to the current FGS. DO Somali political leadership really need one man one vote? Does Somali parliament still have the command over its legislative role? Was PMs kheyre sacrificed for the mistake of the parliament? If the regional leaders want to show commitment on one man one vote, they should start by advocating for the same in the respective constituencies.
It should be noted that these necessary mechanisms are currently non-existent throughout Somalia, a further indication of the unrealistic timetable of having a 1P1V national election by 2021. Additionally, constituents of Somaliland will be unable to partake because a secessionist
entity currently occupies the northern Somali regions. It is evident that Somaliland will not allow a 1P1V national election for Somalia’s government to happen there
Once all Federal Member States have directly-elected representatives for their respective regional governments, a “Federal Constitutional Convention” should be hosted as soon as possible. If Somalia is to complete her federal social contract, she must iron out the wrinkles of her style of federalism. What differentiates federalism from other forms of government is the dual-sovereign notion of “vertical separation of powers.” This notion disseminates governing powers between two main entities, the federal government and the state governments (i.e. the Federal Member States), and each entity may not encroach upon the other entity’s governing powers.
In the United States, the federal government controls foreign affairs, national defense, and monetary policy, inter alia, while the state governments control public health, safety (e.g. policing), and educational affairs, inter alia. The dual-sovereign concept encompasses two parallel entities, federal and state, governing in unison.
The Federal Government of Somalia and the various FMS governments have yet to properly negotiate what governing powers are delegated to the federal government and what powers are reserved for state governments. Somalia’s social fabric is slowly being sewn back together through a federal system, and the tenets of her vertical separation of powers must be codified. This can only be viably done through a national dialogue.
Federalism convention must be held in Somalia to ensure Somalis, of all clan and regional affiliations, have their interests properly represented. This will provide an all-inclusive democratic constitutional revision process. Subsequently, the national referendum for Somalia’s new permanent constitution should take place as soon as possible, and the federal representatives must not show “bare-chest strong” in the negotiation, sorority and respect should be the key value in the negotiation table.
Once these goals are accomplished, Somalia will finally be ready to host its one-person-one-vote national election by any date agreed upon. The last time Somalia held a national democratic election was in March 1969, over fifty years ago. A new Unity Government led by the Current President with an opposition-appointed Prime Minister & “unity cabinet” must be formulated. Once a Unity Government is created, term extension should be warranted to help prepare Somalia for the proper reintroduction of appropriate electoral democracy.
Above all these, Somalis must learn to be humble and propel the flag of the democratic monopoly, African democracy is made in Somalia, it’s rightfully ours, we should reclaim it, we must accept to be led by those in the authority.
The government should play its role on bringing up the electoral framework to be used, bring up the skeleton so that the parliament should beef it up, and let’s see things moving, no blame games.
Somalia will stand tall again.
The writer of this article Hon. Yassin Mahi Mallin, is a Somali Politician and the Chairman of Somali Social Unity Party (SSUP) and a renowned columnist, SSUP is a political party which was register in Somalia 2017. He has been a peace and democracy activist for over 25 years lived in Sweden. Living in Sweden as he was a Somali diaspora, was a member of regional, and district councils, got a great experience how a local, regional and national governments are run systematically and the collaboration among the various actors in the democratic system in Sweden (Swedish Model).
As a human rights activists and advocate for voiceless, let by youth, women, Internal displaced people, he is very familiar with political circles in Somalia and he established strong connection various political and civil society leaders, both male and female, in the country.
Some people may be pessimistic about the country’s political and social problem, but Mahi see the light of the tunnel. After discussing a lot with the youth and other human right and political. Yassin Mahi Mallin can be reach at email@example.com