HARGEISA DAILY –
Representatives of the Somali public – the elders, political parties, and civil society – should be given a role in shaping both the electoral model and the timetable for holding the elections. An inclusive process will guarantee that there is legitimacy for the process itself.
This is per recommendations made by margaati in an election brief based on interviews with individuals involved in the process and with deep knowledge of the behind-the-scenes discussions.
And while Somalia prepares to hold indirect elections yet again this year, the uncertainty of the process has fed into the general sense of despair and has the potential to push the country back into chaos if care is not taken to involve all relevant political and social actors, in order to give the process the legitimacy it deserves.
To allay this, the international community – the US, UK, UN, EU, and AU – should hold the members of the NLF to account on holding free and fair elections since the exercise will not be considered fair if non-NLF members are denied the opportunity to organize themselves , which is a basic constitutional right.
At the same time NLF members who try to use their authority to derail the process in their favor should be sanctioned in order to protect the integrity of the process.
In conclusion the writers recommend a clear timetable with a sense of urgency and based on input from the aforementioned representatives of the Somali public, in order to ensure that the process in not open-ended and meets the set deadlines.