Mogadishu – The promise of Somali governments since 2012 was to hold one man one vote so that the Somali people can choose their government and leader. Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud failed in this and it looks like President Farmaajo is heading the same way. At this point, there are no credible plans for elections let alone one man one vote. While much is said to be going on the in the background with the Federal Government trying to resolve its differences with its Federal Member States, the Somali people can expect to be totally disappointed again if they were hoping to directly elect their government in 2021.
The 2017 elections which brought the then outsider President Farmaajo to power was expensive and very corrupted. The only good outcome was that a new, more popular President was elected against the odds. Now, he is the struggling incumbent with the pressure to deliver a fair, transparent and clear election which is becoming impossible by the day becuase of the divided politics, lack of vision and an inability to complete a constitution that has been dragging on for over 10 years.
The election Commission led by Halima Ismail Ibrahim ” Halima Yarey” is trying to be relevant but it has only so far managed to convince potential candidates to register their political parties. What then? Everybody knew they already existed in the first place now some of them just have written their name down on a piece of paper. So, what next? The hope that the upcoming elections will be led by these parties is a dream because the same 4.5 clan formula will still be dominant. The logistics of election are also uncertain. How and where would those representing Somaliland vote? Are these candidates legitimate representatives of half of the country? Halima Yarey and the Government leadership will have to think quickly if they have any hope of any fair vote even in Mogadishu before they can dream of getting Somaliland to vote in the next elections.
Getting the electoral process right is in the best interest of all political parties and figures in Somalia yet the so-called opposition remain disorganised and only focused on deposing the President. Why are they not focusing on the mechanism to do this fairly of they are confident of public support? Or are they themselves now in the process of hoarding money in the hope of buying the next elections? These are questions the opposition, which should be fighting for change, must answer.
The Somali people have suffered the indignity and injustice of poor governments which they did not elect. Because of this, public confidence in government is at an all time low. To give the people hope and for them to truly support their government, the Election commission and political elite must tell them what role they will play in electing their next government. It is, after all, their government.