Saturday February 12, 2022
We all agree that Somalia cannot claim
to have a history of clean election. Since the first electoral consultations of
1954, election results had, to a certain extent, been tempered with. By all accounts,
the last combined political and municipal elections held in 1969, under the parliamentary
system of government, are remembered as the worst ever held in the country for
the scale of irregularities and abuses which characterized the exercise. Those
of my generation obviously recall, for instance, the much celebrated political
scandal which involved the elections of Bur Hakaba District in1969. The case had
attracted a lot of public attention and discussion in Somalia becoming a cause célèbre.
The question that soon arouse was
whether a poll victory obtained by unethical means would enable the ruling
elite to govern until the end of the legislature (1969-1974), or it would throw
the country back into tribal enmities and chaos. Neither of these two scenarios
happened: a military solution, instead, became the alternative. There has been unexpected
intervention by the Armed Forces who staged a military coup they called
“Revolution”. The military rulers blamed the civilian administration, among
other things, of vote rigging.
election fraud at national level in 2022
time Somalia had a general election, just over 5 decades, the consequences, as
we have mentioned, were far from orthodox. However, today, since 1969, we are facing the worst
electoral fraud and abuse perpetrated by the regional authorities who are given
carte blanche to select, not to
elect, the 257 MPs in the Lower
House. The public has already lost trust in the ability and willingness of
the regional administrators to conduct free and fair elections in their
respective geographical areas of jurisdiction. “The majority of these seats were elected through a
voter suppression tactic locally known as malhiis:
two candidates competing for a seat whereby one of them is a fake rival
candidate who either gets few votes or withdraws from the race. (Hassan Yousuf
Waal). As in 2016, elections
have robbed citizens of all faith and hope in the democratic system.
People with good credentials and solid experience
in state affairs, were denied the right to submit their candidature. Among
those locked out is Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, the veteran politician who
served twice as Speaker of the “Golaha Shacabka”. If in 1969, the District
Commissioner of Bur Hakaba was the bête
noir (Black beast) of the District Commissioners of the time; to day all
the Presidents of the 5 autonomous regions, members of the Federal State, are
to be considered bête noirs. The Syl-led
governments in the 1960s were experts in ballot box stuffing, but they never
precluded the candidature of anyone.
investigators and some Western diplomats say the election has turned out to be
a milestone of corruption, one of the most fraudulent political events in
Somalia’s history, and that’s saying something, given that the country has been ranked
bottom of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index every year
since 2006 (Kaunin Ronan). We must never legitimize/accept any sham election
which restricts candidates on the basis of difference in political opinions or differences
Individuals accused of criminal
activities, and others with criminal records haven been already selected as
members of the future Parliament, while graduates and professionals were denied
to contest the election.
for a general mobilization against the ongoing electoral fraud in Somalia
There is no doubt that the indirect
elections going on in the Federal Member States of Juba land, South West, Hir Shabele,
Gal Mudugh and Punt Land cannot be defined as fair and free exercise. It is an
exercise orchestrated by the 5 regional administrators against all principle of fairness and justice.
It is time to stand up to the election manipulations. We have to say NO and stop this farce they call
elections before it is late. It is very important that we should make clear it
is a mistake to think we don’t know that the elections are fraudulent.
Somali remain passive in the face of these illegalities that could, at the end
of the day, plunge the country into instability from which it would be very
difficult to rise from? Where are the youth of this country? Why don’t they emulate their Sudanese peers
always ready and united against the malpractice in their country?
present appeal goes to all Somalis, particularly the youth, in Garoe, Dusa
Mareb, Belet Uen, Mogadiscio, Baidoa and Chisimaio, to stage a massive
demonstration calling the government to annul the election of those
fraudulently declared “winners”, and halt, with immediate effect, the
continuation of the election process.
It is far
more preferable to remain for some months, or even years, without Parliament in
place than having one whose members are product of election manipulation. We
all remember how bad the Parliament functioned as a legislature in the last 10
years falling short of performing its basic job which is to control the
activities of the government and to bring peace and stability in the country. Parliament
has consistently failed to act against the government abuse of public funds.
The reason is the seats of the Parliament were occupied by the wrong people.
long years of violence and instability, Somalia deserves a Parliament whose
members are genuine representative of the people, not a bunch of individuals
hand-picked by the regional authorities against the law.
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