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Somalia: Proposed 2020 Election Options

In clear terms, the Somali people expect with no excuse or delay-free and fair election in 2020/2021. But, because of the federal government’s abject failure and disinterest to organize and hold free and fair elections as scheduled by the late of this year and the devastating COVID-19 pandemic disease, members of the Somali Atlantic Council took the liberty and initiative to propose the following political blueprint to diffuse the persisting political deadlock that could translate into political violence unless actions are taken immediately.

It is indisputable that the leaders of the federal government – the president, the prime minister and his cabinet, and the federal parliament-  have demonstrably failed to fulfill their constitutional, political, and moral responsibilities, particularly with regard to the preparation of free and fair election in the past three and half years. There is no credible electoral framework in place in Somalia as of today.

Elections are crucial for legitimate and accountable governance in Somalia.

The key to move forward is the need to form as first step “Somalia National Political Dispensation Forum” which decides on acceptable but unconstitutional process for the renewal of the legitimacy of the federal government- parliament and presidency – after the end of the four year term of the federal government in power. The forum would include the leaders of the executive and parliament of the federal government, the federal member states, the representatives of the political parties and civil society organizations, and key international partners and will approve one of the following two options:

1st Option- a two year interim government

  1. The term of both legislative houses shall be extended for a period of no more than two years.

  2. The lower and upper house shall elect new interim leadership by Nov. 2020. Incumbent parliamentary leadership will not participate the leadership competition.

  3. Both Houses shall elect a two-year term President by January 2021 with agreed terms of mandates in reference to the provisional constitution.

  4. The elected interim President after thorough consultations with opposition forces shall appoint a new interim two year term Prime Minister who will have the mandate of appointing experienced technocrat Council of Ministers. The features and special tasks of new Council of Ministers will include among other things:

a)      No member of the federal parliament will be member of the two year term interim cabinet. And no member of the two year interim cabinet will participate the 2022/2023 election and first two years of the elected government.

b) Implementation of Genuine National Reconciliation process in the context of the Completion of Provisional Constitution.

c)  Efficiently carrying out the regular Government businesses, including effective cooperation between federal government and federal member states, implementation of the Heavily Indebted Debt Poor Countries Agreement concluded with the International national institutions (IFI), and National Security Architecture Reform.

d) Transparent, shared, complete preparation of free and fair elections 2022/2023 before the end of 2021 through the cooperation of all political Somali and International stakeholders.

e) No major foreign and domestic policy decisions that will complicate, distract, and disrupt the priorities of the interim federal government will be taken within the 2 year term.

f)  All Security forces outside the provisional Constitution will be integrated into the federal and State Security forces.

g)  All Commanders of the Federal Security Institutions –Police, National Intelligence Service (NISA), and Somali National Army will be removed from office as part of the approval of the option.

h)  The Prime Minister will ensure the discipline and performance of the council of ministers in accordance with the rule of law and good governance practices.

2nd Option- President remains in office for 6 months extension

  1. The term of both the houses of the federal parliament with their leadership  and the President will be extended  for a period no more than 6 months on the following conditions

I.  The Prime Minister and cabinet through a consultation process among all stakeholders – the federal President, Presidents of the federal member states, and leadership of the two chambers of the federal parliament, the opposition parties, the civil society, and international partners. The Prime Minister will have the mandate to prepare the general election.

II.  The federal president, the leaders of the federal parliament, and presidents of the federal member states will commit to support the government to fulfill their special responsibilities agreed for that 6 months extension.

Under this 6 month extension  the government will have following features and priorities among other things:

a)  Prepare implementable election procedures and process in the context of the  Provisional Constitution.

b) Efficiently carrying out the regular Government businesses, including effective cooperation between federal government and federal member states, implementation of the Heavily Indebted Debt Poor Countries Agreement concluded with the International national institutions (IFI), National Security Architecture Reform.

c) Transparent, shared, complete preparation of free and fair elections through the cooperation of all political Somali and International stakeholders.

d)  No major foreign and domestic policy decisions that will complicate, distract, and disrupt the priorities of the interim federal government will be taken within the 6 month term process

e)      All Security forces outside the provisional Constitution will be integrated in the Federal and State Security forces.

f) All Commanders of the Federal Security Institutions –Police, national intelligence service, and Somali national army will be removed from office as part of the approval of the Option.

g) The Prime Minister will ensure the discipline and performance of the council of ministers in accordance with the rule of law and good governance practices.

The Somali Atlantic Council proposes the above highlighted options to prevent guaranteed political violence by the end of the legitimacy of the federal government term in office without free and fair election and to preserve peace, unity and democracy in Somalia as an essential element for Somalia to be an honourable and respected member of the international community. The Members of the Council invite and encourage all Somali politicians, activists, and intellectuals as well as international partners to study the proposed options in their merits and demerits for the collective interest of the Somali people and international community.


Somali Atlantic Council
Abdiaziz Hassan Giyaajo Amalo
Ahmed Siad Sabrie
Ahmed Omar Gagaale

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