Mogadishu ( UM) – Somalia’s new Prime Minister has a very tough job ahead of him and little time to do much other than manage the upcoming elections. Elections are all everybody in Somalia is talking about and is interested in now. Parliament has endorsed the election agreement between the President and the heads of the Federal Member States today and the focus of every politician in Somalia is getting elected, re-elected or supporting their candidate. The Prime Minister should not worry because he has a chance to play a big role in Somali history. But for history to remember his short time in the job favourably he must do some important things.
1. The Prime Minister must learn from his predecessor’s failures and avoid them. Hassan Ali Kheyre did not trust his Cabinet and centralised everything around a few advisers. He is also accused of betraying the trust of the President who gave him the greatest opportunity in his career by all who know both of them. Prime Minister Mohamed Roble must be his own man and be honest with the President about his plans. He must meet him weekly to report his administration’s progress. There is no need to be loyal or disloyal because if the new Prime Minister focuses on delivering the elections as agreed he will be fine.
2. Prime Minister Mohamed Roble told Parliament he has 8 priority agendas and this is just too much. Some are more important than others and he must prioritize because he has little time. Inclusive politics (elections), security and economic reforms are the most important during this period. The social program he told Parliament about are important too but the time is too narrow for him to do anything about them.
3. Prime Minister Mohamed Roble must keep the best performing Minister’s who have major portfolios. There will be clan pressure to change some and political lobbying to replace others but in the short time he has, the new Prime Minister needs the most capable people in his Cabinet. This is the same for effective senior civil servants and consultants who are usually sacked or replaced with new administrations. “Yes” men and women misled former Prime Minister Hassan Kheyre and they will do the same to Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.
4. New Prime Minister must be fair to all political sides during his administration. He doesn’t need enemies now. His meetings with the Federal member states and opposition leaders is very important because he is showing political maturity. This will help to make the upcoming elections easier to manage and prevent big political disputes. Fairness will make Prime Minister Mohamed Roble a real statesman who is putting Somalia’s interest first.
5. Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has to communicate directly with the Somali people and win their trust. The President is absent from the media spotlight and it is up to the Prime Minister to inform the public about government activities. The election management process will need major investment in communication and to keep the small peace he has made through his meetings with the opposition and other stakeholders in Somali politics, the Prime Minister needs to engsge and keep them updated regularly.
The job of Prime Minister of Somalia is always hard. You will never get thanks and you will live in the media spotlight daily. Prime Minister Mohamed Roble is a newcomer to Somali politics and he could have a bright future if he can keep his administration together, deliver fair and free elections and win public support by communicating with them.
UM wishes Prime Minister Mohamed Roble great success and congratulates and thanks him for taking the job at this challenging time.