Somalia’s Acting PM faces “litmus test” in holding fair and free elections

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A deadlock emerges over the delisting of 67 civil servants, spy agents, and Farmajo’s supporters from poll bodies [SEIT & FEIT] to ensure transparency in the coming elections in Somalia.

FEIT and SEIT as well as the electoral dispute resolution body which have been appointed by PM Roble in November last year have immediately met with stiff rejection and skepticism from across the political spectrum.

The election teams, according to the Union of the Presidential Candidates were dominated by civil servants, members of the national intelligence agency [NISA], and Farmajo cronies, evoking sharp reactions and distrust over the credibility of the commissions.

Sources revealed to MOL that the Ministerial-level Commission that PM Roble tasked with verifying the allegations is facing interference from leaders at Villa Somalia who want some disputed members to be reinstated.

The Prime minister who was widely credited for striking a historic electoral deal with the leaders of the five Federal Members States [FMS] and Benadir governor last month challenges ‘a a litmus test’ in managing this year’s elections set to be held in July.

The political stakeholders in the country have successfully resolved the long-running contentious election-related issues in accordance with the 17 September 2020 agreement following four-day talks held in Mogadishu without Farmajo involvement.

The deal allows Somalia to hold indirect elections within 60 days, starting from the day it was signed on May 27 with each state designating two voting districts, where clan elders will pick lawmakers to the lower house chamber of the next parliament.

Somalia’s minister for foreign affairs Mohamed Abdirizak described the electoral pact as a historic Somali-owned process, adding that the FGS needs international partners’ support to implement it.

Abdirizak announced that the elections will cost more than $15 million that is not currently in the hands of the government but leaders asked the international community to help in funding the voting process.

Somalia has witnessed delays in the parliamentary and presidential elections and missed the deadlines twice since Dec 2020 due to political crisis and standoff over the implementation of the Sep 17 treaty.

The outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo failed to deliver on his 2017 campaign promises to hold one person, one vote election at the end of his four-year term in office that officially expired Feb 8.

Farmajo’s failure in holding inclusive polls sparked clashes in Mogadishu in April between pro-opposition forces and the SNA after he extended his mandate by two more illegal years that he disowned following local and Int’l pressure.

In the next indirect vote, every MP will be elected by 101 electoral colleges, a clan system that Somalia had been practicing for almost three decades after all successive governments failed to lead the country to universal suffrage.