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Mr president: It is time to face the facts

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Friday May 15, 2015 - 18:31:43 in Articles by Dahir Alasow
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    Mr president: It is time to face the facts

    Dear Mr. President I write this letter with high hopes that it reaches you with a sober heart and a pair of open ears.

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Dear Mr. President I write this letter with high hopes that it reaches you with a sober heart and a pair of open ears.

On August 2012, after a decade of successive and ineffective transitional governments, a new government and parliament were sworn in, marking an important milestone in Somalia’s revival. This offered a unique opportunity tor the Somali people to rebuild their nation and establish governance structures across the county to pave the way for sustainable peace and stability.

Your election raised expectation that a new momentum of reform was at hand. Many interpreted your victory as a reflection of the popular will and desire for a reformist leader – someone who had the potential to transform Somalia’s domestic politics, historically characterized by polarization and inter-clan competition for supremacy.

Your mandate and that of your government has been to improve security;, initiate political reconciliation;, develop a federal system ;, adopt a permanent constitution ratified through a referendum, and prepare for general elections in 2016. Instead you have proposed a six pillar policy in which you have later abandoned.

Mr. President

You and your team has even failed to theorize the limitation of your government and magnitude of the problem faced by our nation and this has eventually led you inconsistence and error of judgment. Even though the transition has ended, your government still bears a hallmarks of a transitional government.

The government’s power to extend its writ and legitimacy are contested and not universally accepted. Its control over the resources and revenues is weak. There are still many unhealed wounds, huge gulf to bridge, and immense trust deficit and the sense of nationhood is lacking.

Therefore, the major task that has awaited your government is to initiate a sustained dialogue among Somalis on the key issues of national interest and to negotiate statehood with all the major stake holders.

But you and your team have acted as though you were elected and enjoy a popular mandate; and have a fully functional and permanent government which has coercive powers and full sovereignty.

You have shown to be incapable of adopting a style of politics based on consensus and persuasion and have failed to share the privileges and burdens of power, or to mobilize and reach out to those outside of the tent. Instead, you have opted to use the power of manipulation to marginalize political forces in a bid to monopolize power and exclusively shape the destiny of the nation.

Mr. President

There is a growing number of Somalis disappointed by the record of your government. They believe that the government has not taken appropriate steps to improve security, fight corruption and move the country towards national reconciliation.

You have done very little to mobilise and reach out to the regions and win their support. And your support base began to wither as many of your supporters deserted you. Machiavelli once wrote that the new Prince must be loved or feared, and if he must choose one it’s better to be feared. You appear to have opted for none of the two choices..

Neither you Mr. President nor your friends of Damul Jadiid have appreciated what it takes to govern one of the most difficult and complex political realities in the world. The Political elites, and power centres that have been marginalised by you have considered you usurer and denied you legitimacy.

Let the Prime Minister save the sinking boat

As you are in your third year in the office, it seems that your hopes are dashed. And you are deeply frustrated and disillusioned and appear to be losing even your self-confidence. You have dug yourself into a deep hole, and you must now get out of it.

You have to discover your strength and turn them again to your advantage. You have to realize that the prime minister and his cabinet know a lot more about what works for the country than Damul Jadiid do.

Damul Jadiid has done enough to mess up things by imposing their will and making your judgment subservient to theirs. A president must be able to make decision on his ownwithout hesitations . His decision can sometimes be wrong, but that is fine as long as they are not too many, but you haven’t got most of your decisions right first time, because you distanced yourself from anyone who has relevant experience, inner integrity, a philosophy and political experience. You lost to have your personal foundation on which to act.

Fiction 2016

The political process and constitution-building is an essential part of the road maps to peace and stability in post transitional settings. There must be space for the establishment of a new order founded on a constitution that defends individual rights and lays a foundation for a power-sharing formula that prevents any group from monopolizing power in the future. There must be clear approach which shows true commitment to the constitutional review, and meaningful democratic political process as agreed upon by the major stake holders.

These practices include prior agreement on broad principles as part of the first phase of constitutional review and more detailed negotiations for the final draft; civic education and media campaigns using both the print and electronic media; the creation and guarantee of channels of communication among the structure undertaking the process, the oversight committee, the Implementation and Review Commission and parliamentary standing committee, open and transparent drafting process ; and approval and adoption by various combinations of representative legislatures, constitutional court, and public by referendums.

The vision 2016 had almost turned in to fiction. This has been the result of lack of frame work of consensus and the political buy-in of the major stake holders, clear mechanism to implement and effective executive to deliver. As 2016 coming nearer there is urgent need to agree clear political dispensation with involving relevant and key stakeholder.

  • Parliament’s has to play a greater role in the constitutional review process, and election of 2016. They have to be at the driving seat for exploring possible scenarios and options in the event that election could not take place in 2016.
  • Sub- national leaders has to be also consulted about future political dispensations. The role of senior leadership forum has to be consultative forum, not executive decision making body.
  • Civil society groups has to play an active role in holding public officials and the government leadership accountable and harness their contribution towards political discourse and policy discussion.
  • The political parties’ law has to be urgently passed by the Parliament. These political parties must not be based on clan or religious affiliations. The creation of political parties will transform politics into one that is based on policies and issues and produce future leaders who can bring a new perspective in to the national agenda.
  • The independent media has to be bolstered to open space for national dialogue and discussions on political dispensation.

 

Abdi Beyle

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