Somalia, as a country ravaged by conflicts, bestrode by religious extremism, rampant tribalism is heading the second in-direct election since Somalia becomes permanent government in 2012. The incumbent government which was elected in February, 2017 was evoking that, they will deliver the country into One-Person One-Vote for the upcoming election in 2020-2021, but that target becomes pipe dream when the federal government, and the regional states reached-out a political agreement which tells that, the country will undertake in-direct election for this time. For the last two-years, there was a conspicuous rift among the federal government and her peripherals which somewhat looked like the three No’s Policy, no contact, no negotiation, no compromise. The embattled Farmajo’s government encountered robust standoff from the leaders of the states, and other opposition politicians. Plenty of the political commentators believe that, the current government tended knee-jerk actions, monolithic, while the oppositions tended adamant. Amidst the election mood, Somalia’s political powder keg is encouraged the haves, while have-nots are deterred. Because, the politics in Somalia is a synonymous with wealthy people, and those are not rich are considered as cogs. I became dumfounded and flabbergasted when I heard that, one of the conditions of the candidates for the incoming MPs in 2020-2021 includes “Everyone who is running for Member of Parliament for the House of the People (Lower-house) should paid in advance 10,000USD for registration, while, everyone who is running for Senator (Upper-House) should pay 20,000USD”.
These huge amount of money is just for the registration, and when the person takes the certificate, he/she will swim another cesspool of corruption where he/she allocates a tremendous money for the delegates of his/her constituency in order to get elected. When I immersed meticulously these daunting and peculiar requirements, I asked myself, how the election can be fair and transparent, and how the elected ones will serve their people honestly? Because, Somalia is a war-torn country which is recuperating the misfortunes of the civil war in 1991, and is crippled by a natural and Man-made disasters. In this regard, a few individuals are rich, while the fast-majority are poor. Within the few wealthy people is dominated by relentless businessmen, corrupted politicians, clueless Diasporas, former warlords who tended all of them bloodsucking the gullible community. So, these requirements serve to these notorious individuals who are
reckless about the interest of the nation, and they are the only ones who can afford these enormous moneys, because they have the ill-gotten moneys.
For the last couple of days, there has been burgeoning MPs and Senators candidates’ manifest via Social Media. Majority of these candidates are youth. In this regard, I asked myself, what is the motivations which are driving these young people? After a shared some of colleagues with this question, I comprehended that, there are many reasons including but not limited: –
Widespread unemployment among the young generation, leadership curiosity, breaking the status quo and many more. The first motivation is to get jobs, because politics becomes source of income in Somalia. The second is, the young people have a fresh energy which they want to serve to their people. Because, Somalia’s politics is overarched by old-guys. With all these driving factors, the young generation’s ambition is inevitable, invincible, inexorable, and ineluctable. The young generation don’t have ulterior motives, so they want drastically to join the politics in order to make seismic change.
Though, the debate of the election is still embryonic, but as a caveat, I urge famously and courageously to avoid such daunting conditions to be imposed, because it deters, and exasperates the good guys who have the knowledge, the ethic, the delirious curiosity of representing genuinely to their people, but maybe they don’t afford such amount of money.
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir (Author, and Horn of Africa Geopolitics Analyst)