Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed designated on Thursday a political newcomer to become prime minister, after almost two months that the parliament of the country voted out former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.
The appointment of Mohamed Hussein Roble came after hours that the president and five regional directors reached a deal on a revised election model after days of discussions in Mogadishu and international pressure. The president, who signed in February historic legislation providing ordinary citizens the right to vote in parliamentary elections, admitted to making the indirect elections preferred by regional directors.
Indeed, a statement from the office of the president reported that Roble was ordered to constitute a new transitional government before general elections in the Horn of Africa country.
The new deal appeals for election preparations to start November 1. Administrators would determine dates in 2021 for choosing a parliament, whose members then would select the president, as in 2016. It’s expected that Mohamed widely known as Farmajo attempts a second four-year term; while his current term expires February 7.
He also expected to present within some days for a confirmation hearing ahead parliament, which four-year terms of their members’ end December 27. In the case of approved, Roble would have 30 days to choose government members.
It should be noted that Roble, 57 years -old, presents a new face to the political scene of the country. He is a graduate of Somali National University, where he studied civil engineering. The representatives of Roble informed VOA that after the civil war of Somalia in 1991, he fled to Sweden. Roble has worked for the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency, in multiple locations including Somalia. He reported in a short statement posted on social media that he would work with all Somalis during the transition.
Revised election model
The elections agreement revises a plan reached August 20 by Mohamed and three of five regional leaders. It was rejected by the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland.
Regional leaders reportedly worried that registering individual voters would be risky, given insecurity in Somalia, and could prolong incumbents’ terms in office.
According to the new agreement, traditional elders, civil society leaders, and regional authorities will select a federal map of 101 delegates from each state, who then will elect representatives to parliament. The plan likely will allow clans to retain more of the power that political parties had hoped to share.
The new 15-point agreement allows the federal government and regional administrations to appoint federal and regional electoral commissions to manage voting and related processes.
According to the revised agreement, election planning will begin November 1 in two locations in all five states. Representatives in Somaliland, which considers itself a breakaway republic, will be elected in Mogadishu, the capital.
The deal also preserves a quota guaranteeing women 30% of the seats in the parliament’s 275-member lower chamber and 54-member upper chamber.
President Mohamed said he chose Roble to consolidate security ahead of elections, rebuild the armed forces, develop infrastructure and fight corruption, a goal analysts describe as unrealistic given that Roble’s transitional term likely will not extend beyond 143 days, at most.
Abdirahman Mohamed Tuuryare, former director of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency declared: The man was appointed in a critically short time when the country is preparing for elections. His major challenges include security. Al-Shabab, the terrorist group, will intensify attacks in the time of elections to threaten and disrupt the process, as they did in the past.
Liban Isse, a Mogadishu University professor of international studies, said Roble’s appointment holds promise. He also reported: Seen as nonaligned in the Somalia political landscape, he could help pave the way for compromises and consensus on the election process.