The announcement from Villa Somalia Sunday that the president was invoking executive order to declare the 2016 electoral model which had hitherto stuck in Parliament for close to a month has drawn mixed reactions from across the political divide.
While some saw it as outright usurpation of powers not inherent to his office by the president, others said the president’s move was prudent to safe the country an endless circus which would produce no tangible results.
Kulan party secretary general Abdiqadir Barnamij said Parliament was already moving in the wrong direction and unnecessarily creating a political debate with no end. He also accused the leadership of parliament led by the speaker Osman Jawari of failing to provide leadership on the process.
“The leadership in parliament was just apathetic and dragging its feet to endorse the electoral process within the agreed timelines. Therefore it was necessary for the president to strike this decision and we as a party endorse it,” said Barnamij.
But Federal MP Abdullahi Godah Barre dismissed the president’s decree terming it unconstitutional and dictatorial. He noted the president should be held accountable for his actions which amount to gross violation of the law.
“The president took over the role and powers of parliament and Somali people should know he is merciless and a dictator bent on dragging the country into a black hole. We are calling on parliament and the people of Somalia to hold this president who has turned into a dictator accountable,” lamented Barre.
The president said Sunday he had decided to declare the electoral model law after parliament failed to execute its functions noting the decision was in the interest of the nation. UN envoy to Somalia Michael Keating praised the president for the decision terming it a positive step towards the 2016 polls.
Federal MP Abdi Barre also hailed the president’s decision calling it some form of salvation which the country badly needed. “As an individual MP, I support the decision by the president because parliament was becoming dysfunctional. Clannism and disputes had dominated debate in the House. Instead of debating and approving the electoral roadmap as presented to them, the House became a place of clannism and social division, therefore the country needed a saviour,” observed Abdi.
But Zakariye Haji Mahmoud, a politician and former minister said the president was turning into a revolutionist keen on creating a totalitarian regime in Somalia. He noted there was no legal basis for the president’s move calling it illegal.
“This decree is typical of revolutionary government. The president should do everything according to law and we ask what legal basis he issued this decree. No one owns the government and it’s obvious he has no legal bases on what he has issued,” noted Mahmoud.