The calculated scheme of the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) elected in 2012 to disregard the fulfilment of the constitutionally mandatedarrangements for a transparent, free, and fair national election in 2016 has paid off as theybecomeempowered by the International Community (IC) to device fraudulent, undemocratic electoral process that suits their rapacious ambitions for staying in power (reelection). The formation of unaccountable federal member states (FMS) and the creation of theSomali National Leadership Forum(NLF) composed of 8 leaders – 4 leaders of the FGS (the president, Speaker, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister), and 4 presidents of FMS (Puntland, Galmudug, Jubbaland, and Southwest) in violation ofthe provisional constitution havefacilitated the gaming of democratic political electionsupposed to allow the Somali citizens to toss out rulers who governed badly.
On the basis of Garowe Agreement on 2016 electoral model and process, signed between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Government of Puntland State on April 3, andon the recommendations of aHigh Level Consultation meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on April 6-7, membersof the NLF held a meeting in Mogadishu for the adoption of comprehensive electoral implementation plan. The Communiqué of the meeting restated the main points made in Garowe Agreement and Nairobi consultation. However, the flaws of the electoral implementation plan are described below.
The NLF has no constitutional legitimacy to legislate or regulate political elections in Somalia;but the Garowe Agreementsays that, “The International Community recognizes the central role of the National Leadership Forum in ensuring that the national interest is protected and promoted, and the role of parliament in underpinning the rule of law and protecting the Constitution.” The interpretation of the quoted statement is not clear, but it could be construed as saying that the decisions of the NLF are not subject to parliamentary review or they could not be protested by the public. Most significantly, the implementation of Garowe Agreementis guaranteed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), specifically Ethiopia. Thus, Garowe Agreement is subject to international relation and law. I hope Somali experts on international law will express legal opinion on the agreements between the federal government and regional states guaranteed by foreign governments or organizations.
The NLF members who are either incumbents seeking reelection or sponsoring their alliestook control of the political oversight of 2016 election and misappropriated the powers (1) to appoint all members of federal and regional electoral committees, (2) to restrict public participation in the election, and (3) to validate the legitimacy of elected candidates. The federal and regional electoral committees will work under the direction and supervision of NLF. This is not a democratic political election. The Flaws of 2016 Electoral Implementation Plan
Selection of the Electorate: The implementation plan indicates that 135 traditional leaders registered in 2012 will select 50 electorate for each parliamentary seat in consultation with sub clan traditional leaders. In anticipation of this decision, the federal government has instigated leadership disputes within some clans in order to replace the traditional leaders seen as not reliable allies of the government against the interests of their clans. Therefore, the federal government should not be allowed to handle any disputeover traditional leaders. Clan constituencieshave the primary responsibility for standing behind their genuine traditional leaders.
Political Exclusion: Benadir region is excluded from the NLF and the Upper House of the federal parliament representing federal member states. Similarly, the political participation of the population living in Benadir is up in the air. No explanation has been provided for this outrageous political exclusion.
Scandals and Meltdown of Hiran and Middle Shabelle State Formation Process. No representative of Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions is member of NLF. As a result of the federal government’s game plan to install its loyalists in power in Hiran and Middle Shabelle State, the process of state formation is mired by scandals and abuses that led to paralysis and acrimonious political confrontation. The international community is fully aware of the scandals and reasons behind the meltdown but decided to close eyes and push for the declaration and celebration of federal member state at any cost.
Creation of Upper House of the federal Parliament: The Federal Parliament has suspended in 2012 all articles of the provisional constitution related to the Upper House of the Federal Parliament. The NLF restored the Upper House without parliamentaryaction. The responsibilities and powers of the Upper House vis-à-vis the house of the people are yet to be outlined.