Is Somalia’s president sidelining a major clan?

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre was recently sacked by parliament after a withdrawal of confidence while still in Dhuusmareeb district in Galmudug region of Somalia, trying to negotiate an electoral deal with the Federal Member States. Prime Minister Kheyre’s sacking shocked many but political commentators had seen the writing’s on the wall from almost a year ago according to Mohamed Hasan, a blogger and political analyst residing in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

”We all knew before it was confirmed that the two leaders (President & Prime Minister) had conflicting views; The President wants to be re-elected while Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre was seeking the premiership for himself, thus colliding with the ambition of the president. This is politics” said Mohamed Hassan, a Somali diaspora who had arrived back to Mogadishu from London, UK in 2012. ”Things were much different back then and the country has changed a lot although the political and clan tangling are still active.”

Somalia’s parliament and leadership is split in a political power sharing formula called 4.5.

”4.5, the curse that turns you against your brother. The rigid system that splits us up and splits the pie UP for us!”

4.5, means that the countries President, Prime Minister, Speaker and deputy speakers must be shared and contested amongst the major and minority clans residing in Somalia. If one clan is Speaker, then this would mean the other clans would contest for the Presidency, then the winner appoints a PM from the clans remaining.

”This means 1 individual would represent a whole clan, thus excluding all the other technocrats from the position. The curse that turns you against your own brother” Hassan told BTV.

”The problem at stake now is that the President must appoint a PM before leaders convene to decide the election model for 2021. This is crucial in inviting the Hawiye clan to have their input in the Federal Government’s plan for the upcoming election as every other clan is represented. Darood clan is the president and Rahanweyn are the Speakers so we must remember, the sacking of Hassan Ali Kheyre, A Hawiye, and not replacing him ahead for the electoral decision of 2020 would mean sidelining Hawiye, a major stakeholder of the Somali state, from the decision making table” added Hassan.

The country is at a crossroad and many believe that the delayed tactics of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo is ”’the sole reason for this. The government is power sharing and very important the President can appoint a PM before the final decision is reached ” Hassan said.

”We feel that with a governance system, we will eventually leave the 4.5 system but we have to do this together and collective input from everybody on where we should go. This is not up to every other group that is elected by the Parliament; This is up to the Somali intellectuals, clans, civil society and all aspects of professionals to have their valued contribution” Hassan concluded.

Somalia is expected to go to the polls in Feb 2021 and the country’s leaders are still loggerheads on the election model.

Mohamed Hassan


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