Somali Politicians Oppose Electoral System Reforms

A group of leading Somali politicians denounced a move on Monday to overhaul the country’s electoral system and introduce universal suffrage. They have charged that the proposals were unconstitutional and lacked broad consultation.

The new proposal aims to replace the complex clan-based indirect voting system that has been in place for over half a century with a one-person one-vote system. The Somali central government and four federal member states came to an agreement on Sunday to introduce this system with local elections set for June 2024.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had pledged in March to end Somalia’s clan-based voting system, which has not been without controversies. Sunday’s agreement took place at a meeting of the National Consultative Forum, which also proposed a single presidential ticket where voters would choose a president and vice-president.

This effectively abolishes the position of prime minister. These proposals are subject to approval by  the parliament.

However, several politicians, including former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and four former prime ministers, have issued a statement objecting to the agreement. They highlighted concerns over the constitutionality of the proposals and a lack of broad consultation.

“We applaud efforts to move the country towards a one-person one-vote and a multi-party system that enforces democratic governance,” they said in the statement. “However, it is critical that the upcoming elections are lawful, fair, credible and transparent, with a wide range of political voices participating.”

The objections from the politicians highlight the complexity and sensitivity of Somalia’s political situation. The country has been plagued by decades of war, and achieving political stability has been a long and difficult process.

The proposed reforms would represent a significant shift in the way Somali politics has operated. The direct election system aims to promote the principles of democracy and bring greater transparency and accountability to the electoral process.

About Dalsan Editor

View all posts by Dalsan Editor

Leave a Reply