Somali Government Announces New Election Timeline As Parliament’s Mandate Expires

Amid ongoing delays in holding timely elections, Somalia’s Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) announced an updated timeline for Upper House (December 31 – January 6) and Lower House polls (January 7 until an unidentified date.)

  • Who’s the Spoiler?: Despite no agreement yet, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) likely announced the new timeline to pressure the opposition into accepting the status quo and to frame them as “spoilers” in the eyes of donor countries, as this blog projected may occur in an earlier post. Jubaland, Puntland, and other opposition figures continue to demand reconstitution of the FEIT before elections due to claims it contains too many political aides and intelligence agencies close to President Mohamed Adullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo”.
  • The Ignored Constitutional Crisis: The constitutional mandate of the federal parliament expired on December 28, and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Mursal announced last month that it would continue working until the 11th parliament was sworn in. The government also extended its mandate ahead of the national elections in 2012 and 2016-17. The international community rather see an “illegitimate” parliament limp toward the next administration rather than have the FGS become mired in a constitutional crisis that further complicates that transition.
  • The Mirage of Neutral Mediators: On December 24, Puntland president Said Adullahi Dini offered to assist his Galmudug counterpart, Ahmed Abdi Kariye “Qoor Qoor” to negotiate with the opposition. At best, this could only mean that Puntland will ramp up efforts to consolidate a negotiating position with its ally Jubaland, rather than a desire to act as a “neutral” mediator. Co-mediator Qoor Qoor is an unabashed FGS ally put in power with FGS resources. To the extent that Qoor Qoor and Dini may coordinate any negotiation effort, the “team” is notionally balanced.

Coming Up: Government officials, presidential candidates, and regional leaders are expected to discuss their views on a way out of the crisis, among other issues, at the 2020 Forum For Ideas, hosted by the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in Garowe, Puntland from December 29-31.

Categories: Somali Government

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