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Galmudug considers clan-district based compromise as Forum converges in Kismayu for final verdict

Storyline:National News

The choice for the best possible electoral formula for 2016 polls has put regional administrations in Somalia at cross roads even as the National Consultative Forum converges in Kismayu to announce the final option.

Goobjoog News has learnt that though the delegates in the consultative forums had put forward their choices, the regional administrations are now grabbling with the possibility of give and take positions.

Documents seen by Goobjoog News from Galmudug and South West states highlight points of compromise from earlier positions. The two areas of debate are the election of the Lower House and the Upper House.

Galmudug, which had opted for the 4.5 clan based system is now considering a compromise between the District based and Clan based system. “In the absence of one-person, one-vote, Galmudug is flexible on the options available for selecting members of the Lower House of the Parliament,” read the position brief in part.

“Our eagerness to compromise has led us to be open to both of the two main options, which is either district-based selection or 4.5-based selection of MPs. We are also open to a hybrid option, whereby a certain percentage of MPs are selected based on districts and the remaining percentage is selected based on 4.5 clan system,” Galmudug noted.

With regards to the election of members of the Upper House, Galmudug is of the view the 54 member Upper House shall be based on equal representation for existing and emerging Federal States. It posits the option will the qualitatively improve national lawmaking and will provide states with a strong voice in future legislations in concomitance with international norms of the Upper House.

This view runs counter to the distribution of Upper House seats based on the 18 regions as contemplated in the Provisional Constitution. Article 72 of the Provisional Constitution provides for a 54 member Upper House based on the 1991 regions which are 18 in total. It also takes cognisance of the Federal Member States which shall have equal number of representatives.

It has also emerged that Galmudug favoured the political party based option for the 2016 polls and is still of the view the same could still be deployed in August. “In order to enhance the legitimacy of the next Federal Government, Galmudug has been an early advocate for a robust political party system to be introduced in time for 2016 elections. Regrettably, neither the legal framework nor the necessary civic education has been completed as of January 2016,” the brief elucidates.

Galmudug warns of any attempts to exclude the break-away Somaliland noting that such a move would serve to advance the secessionist agenda in the north and a betrayal of unionist forces.