Somalia Polls Crucial to Horn of Africa

Electoral officials count votes during the electoral process to choose members of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament in Baidoa, Somalia in November 2016. @UN

All roads in Somalia now lead to the 2020-2021 elections. The elections come at the tail-end of the longest and most effective political partnership in Somalia, between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” and Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.

Had the partnership held together, the Farmaajo-Khaire axis would have easily secured re-election in view of their collective achievements. However, the controversial ouster of Khaire from office in late July 2020 ended the partnership, setting the stage for one of the most epic and fierce electoral battles in modern Somalia.

It is now official: Legislative elections will take place on December 1 and 27, 2020, followed by presidential elections on February 8, 2021.

This comes in the wake of new consensus on election modalities agreed upon by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), federal member states and political parties, which ended “Somalia’s manmade electoral crisis” and delightfully forestalled a dual constitutional and political crisis.

Somalia has shelved the one-person-one vote, upholding the existing clan-based system where delegates from clans elect 275 MPs of the lower house, who in turn elect the president.

By Peter Kagwanja for the thecitizen