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Regional states pass their verdict on electoral option for 2016

The National Consultative Forum concluded its regional consultative meetings last week in a bid to seek public views regarding the best possible option for electing members of parliament in the upcoming 2016 polls.

The Forum presented four options namely; the political party system, district electoral college system, the regional states electoral college and the 4.5 clan based system. The 4.5 clan based system which was used in the 2012 elections distributes electoral seats based on clan size and population hence all the major clans take a point one and the smaller ones combined contribute half.

The district electoral college option is based on the 1991 administrative districts which are in total 92. Therefore in the event of this option, the House of the People will be made of 276 members if the seats are distributed equally each district getting three slots.

 Banaadir/Middle Shabelle and Hiiran

The two regions which are yet to be established as regional states held their consultative forum in Mogadishu. In their final submission, they opted for the 4.5 clan based system. Some delegates raised fears that 4.5 might not be inclusive of marginalised groups such as women, youth and the disabled but Banaadir governor Jima’ale assured them the elders will ensure these groups are adequately represented.


The northern state was categorical from the start with the state president Ali Gaas noting in his opening remarks that Somalia was not ready to go back to a system which brought the current administration to power. “We are against any attempts to go back to 4.5, Puntland wants a purely district based system,” said Gaas.

The over 600 delegates returned the same verdict at the end of the forum. In a statement, the state declared it wanted geographical and not clan representation as the best model for the 2016 elections. “4.5 is retrogressive and unconstitutional; it’s an obstacle to democracy, promotes inequality and fosters injustice, corruption and the disintegration of the Somali state,” read the statement in part. Interior Federal Minister Abdurahman Odowaa represented the Federal government.


After three days in Adado, about 150 delegates passed a vote. Out of the 150 delegates, majority, 115 chose 4.5 while the remaining 35 voted against but did not necessarily provide an alternative.

Speaking during the closing of the event, Federal Justice Minister Abdullahi Ahmed Jama said the process was transparent and that the Galmudug administration did not interfere with the process.


Like its ally in the north, Jubbaland settled for district electoral college option. The option, they said was the solution to dismantling clannism in Somalia and promoting accountability and transparency in politics.

In a statement, the delegates said the district based system would pave way for multiparty democracy in Somalia as it promotes the participation of all sectors of society regardless of their gender, clan or any other affiliation.

“When we send our students to study in Mogadishu, they don’t go as representatives of clans but as proud members of Jubbaland,” read the statement in part.

South West State

Though they settled for 4.5, this state called for an expanded version to make it more legitimate and inclusive unlike the 4.5 model which was presided over by elders only. There were no clear ways hwever on how the expanded version would look like. The state president Shariff Hassan Sheikh Adan opened the event and was attended by Electoral Commission chair Halima Yere and Federal Health Minister Hawa Hassan Mohamed.


Somaliland delegates pulled a surprise by dropping all the four options and went ahead to introduce a new method. They referred to the Act of the Union agreement (1960) as the guiding principle in power sharing. For them, the Act brought Somaliland (British territory) and Italian Somaliland (Italian Protectorate) as equal partners. With this, Somaliland would go with 137 MPs leaving the rest of the country to share the remaining half.

The National Consultative Forum will meet in December 15, 2015 to present the final verdict to the public.