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Who Will Replace Jawari? How National & South West Politics Will Shape Speaker Race.
Somali News

Who Will Replace Jawari? How National & South West Politics Will Shape Speaker Race.

Radio Dalsan

Lobbying is underway a day after the eleven registered contestants in the Lower House Speaker race faced Parliament to pitch their candidature ahead of the April 30 elections.

The candidates  are immediate former Defence Minister Mohamed Mursal, Ibrahim Isaac Yarow former Deputy Minister Posts and Telecommunications, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed former State Minister Trade and Commerce , Adan Mohamed Nur who served as Speaker between 2009-2010, serving Mp Sharif Abdallah and Salim Allow Ibro who has been Mp for 18 years, Mahamud Maalim Yahye and Iman Abdullahi Ali former Minister of religious Affairs,Ali Sheikh Mohamed Nur former Deputy Minister interior, Sharif Sheikhuna Maye MP and former Police Commissioner.     

Majority of Political analysts  interviewed by Radio Dalsan are of the opinion that this may end up as a two horse race between Mursal and Yarow.

“Mursal has that head start as a former Minister with assumption that he has backing from the executive. Yarow on the other is seen as an independent and is likely to have support from the opposition in Parliament. It is a proxy battle between the opposition and the government in Parliament”  Abdirahman Isaack a Somalia affairs analyst told Radio Dalsan.

Before he was appointed  in charge of the key Defence portfolio Mursal had served as a Deputy District Commissioner and in the Ministry of National Assets and Public Procurement of Somalia, Energy and Water and  Ambassador to Turkey .

Yarow  who holds a Masters degree in Strategic Human Resource management from the  University of  Rochampton UK is seen to be more experienced  with Parliament matters  having served as an MP for 18 years.

” I am seeking for neutrality, a system of checks and balances and an independent legislative. I have full confidence that based on my experience I am the appropriate candidate. If you give me your votes  i am confiding infront of you that I will be an impartial  Speaker and will protect the federal constitution and the Lower House regulations. I pledge to unite all Mps from different political persuasion” Yaarow told parliament on Thursday.

 Mursal six months at the Defence ministry was this week tainted by an expose purporting to show that he signed a military logistics deal with UAE company SKA International Group.

The government has distanced itself from the deal and nullified it but many questions remain unanswered.

Notably the signing was done at a time when UAE and Somalia are in a diplomatic spat. The same  company had been blocked  from any contracts by Parliament in 2010.

Some Mps have accused  Mursal of receiving a kickback in the deal allegedly  using the money for the Speaker race campaign. Mursal has not spoken on the issue.

According to the 4.5 sytstem of governance all the candisates are drawn from the South West´s Digil Mirifle clan and local politics in the region is expected to shape the outcome on April 30.

The current regional President Shariff Hassan Adan is said to be uncomfortable with a Mursal win. A regional presidential election is expected in December 2018 and the complication Adan is likely to face is when Mursal from his subclan wins the Speaker race.

Mursal is seen as aligned to the executive and this may either be his downfall or his triumph depending on the tyranny of numbers in Parliament.

”The political squabbles were not over with the resignation of Jawari. PM Khaire would want  a Speaker that will most likely ensure that a vote of no confidence against him sees the light of the day. Someone who can back him up”  Abukar Warsame a political commentator told Radio Dalsan.

“Some Mps will judge Mursal as a speaker who will end up been a rubber stamp for the executive . This means Yarow is likely to get sympathy votes and backing from anti executive Mps” analyst Issack said.

A section of Mps has raised concern over a copy of the federal constitution distributed by Deputy Speaker Abdiweli Mudey which indicated that the number of Parliamentarians is 225 instead of 275 and that the Presidential term as five years and not four years. The Mps are of alleging a plan to technically dismiss 50 members of parliament.

Jawari had served as the Speaker since 2012 until a political tussle with the executive forced him to resign but not before setting high standards whoever will take charge after the April 30 elections.