11/26/2022
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Somali Elections: Who’s Who in the race to unseat Farmaajo?

By Ahmed M. Roble Thursday April 21, 2022
Thursday April 21, 2022

Somalia’s Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) announced that 294+ members of the parliament are certified MPs from both lower and upper houses. On 14th April a swearing ceremony was done for these parliamentarians in the presence of Prime Minister Roble who was responsible for the electioneering processes of the past 1 year. The PM’s main target is to securely complete the election of the 2022 which’ll bring peaceful power transfer in the country.

After the swearing ceremony will be followed by critical milestones such as the election of the Speaker marked by 27th April which will lead the country to witness the voting for its 10th president. More than 30 men and woman have declared their candidacy to leading this fragile state, but very fewer than that stand a realistic chance to becoming the 10th president of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The 2022 elections are delayed frequently and produced certain outstanding differences which was resolved through dialogue and compromise from all stakeholders to attain swift conclusion of the electoral process. There are numerous candidates who are vying for the position and the upcoming leadership will come with incomplete projects including a looming famine, debt relief program risk, a successionist enclave, transition of ATMIS by 2024, and post-Farmaajo reconstruction of a polarized society.

Various heavyweight candidates are running including the yet to announce incumbent president who has a lot of support to only pass-over to second round but, history tells us that once a president’s term ends, a second term is impossible. In this race, the below 5 candidates are expected to unseat the incumbent and lead a polarized and dire society. These 5 candidates are campaigning with huge impact to embark a winning strategy to leading Somalia after election victory.

Their political programs for the country as usual are not very much solid such as the question of security, economy, governance, political reconciliation, corruption, geopolitics, and foreign policy. Although the awaited challenges are pretty much written in the wall, yet the lack of political manifesto discourages the aspired change for this country. These key election issues are how to revive the Somali state at a time with intense need of political change for the country and the below candidates are with a mission to bring about that change.

1.    Dahir Mohamoud Gelle

A Scholar, diplomat, politician with plenty of public and private experience is one of the most aspirants to win in this election. Mr. Gelle’s political program is precise with four key pillars that safeguards the national interest of Somalia. The program first focuses on the security and political front which proposes eradication of terror groups and ultimately offering a handful of negotiation to neutralize them, establishing a political reconciliation within a perfect federalization and shrewd foreign policy bonded by a national interest. This new face’s campaign strategy, public opinion of his principles and astute resume makes him a forefront in winning this fiercely contested election.

2.    Saeed Abdullahi Deni

A former minister of planning, leader of Puntland, and a ferocious opposition to the incumbent has established a great deal of campaign within Puntland and its best ally, Jubbaland. As quoted, Mr. Deni’s main program is to unseat the current president which is inevitable and a huge milestone to attain at the election day. His political manifesto will not be different than the policies adopted during the presidency at Puntland state of Somalia. Certain accomplishments worthy of noting are the implementation of elections in three districts which was a key milestone for the democratization project of the state and the country as well. Critics claim that Mr. Deni’s term in Puntland is yet to end which’ll need for him to resign at first before contesting and a lack of vision of harmony in leading Puntland not to mention Somalia.

3.    Shariif Sheikh Ahmed

A Cleric, ICU leader, and former president is running 3rd time in distinct context and dynamism. Mr. Sharif’s era was far worse than this and came with limited resources adversary to settle the nation’s affairs.  Sharif’s legacy though very poor makes him a reputable candidate after witnessing a devastating convergence of ineffective administration and dismal performance on the country’s key priority developments of security and economic recovery. This third time, Mr. Sharif’s candidature serves as a do or die moment which makes him strong contender for the top job.

4.    Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud

Academic, civil society member, and Former president is yet to rest and his second time race for the post comes at a time of severe uncertainty. Mr. Hassan’s 2012 reign came with a time of ending a transition governance era for Somalia which made his legacy of reform an astounding yet criticized by other. It is without a witness that his leadership style of compromise and negotiation will give him a leverage over others. His campaign pillar which is bonded with his inner circle/group and SIMAD university alumni’s and scholars will create a cult/movement style of government which is a serious challenge for a country to have a cooperative culture and unity. A rampant corruption, soiling culture of polarization, and group-thinking are the main obstacles to choose him over a candidate whose office is served and open to all Somalis.

5.    Hassan Ali Khaire

A Somali activist, former refugee to Norway, manager, and the former Prime Minister of Somalia is one of the strong contenders for the position of presidency. Mr. Khaire’s analysis is folded and converged with the incumbent which makes him hard to examine. During his 3 years tenure as PM of Somalia, all his accomplishments was a directive by the incumbent and its performance rating will be a group one shared by his president.  His political muscle was tested earlier after losing the vote of confidence in the parliament within 7 minutes. As a newcomer, Mr. Khaire is making sound campaign in Mogadishu and whether that is a fog or not will be seen on the forthcoming election day.

Finally, Somalia is likely to have a speaker of parliament by the next Wednesday, 27th April 2022 and after that an election date will be set for the presidential race. This presidential race will not be different than the earlier ones as there are no laws to decentralize and perfect elections after every while. The factors of lobbying, vote buying, external influences and public desire will be hugely felted and if lucky, Somalia will witness an election that’ll produce the leadership it deserves. Considering, the current condition in Somalia, it is with our supplication that we hope for this election to produces a leadership with subject-matter and context conscious to gradually push our conditions for the better during the upcoming 4 years with glance back at the faults of predecessors and try to drive a lesson in correcting all the wrongdoings whilst avoiding a repeated strategic, policy mistakes done in the past.

Ahmed M. Roble

The writer holds MBA and pursuing M.A in Peace, Governance and Development at University for Peace.



 





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