GOOBJOOG NEWS|SOMALIA: Federal Member State Parliaments in Somalia are currently electing new senators in line with the May 27 Agreement which set out the road map for elections after over six months of political wrangling.
How many Senators does each state elect?
Article 72 of the Provisional Consitution caps the number of Senators at 54 based on the eighteen (18) regions that existed in Somalia before 1991. The composition of the Senate shall also take into account the number of the Federal Member States and that all FMS ‘shall have an equal number of representatives in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament.’ The same article also stipulates that members of the Upper House shall be representative of all communities in the Republic of Somalia.
How is the current composition
In 2016, the National Leadership Forum (NLF) which brought together then-President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and leaders of the Federal Member States struck a political deal that saw an equal division of seats among the FMS save for Puntland and Somaliland. Galmudug, HirShabelle, Jubbaland and South West States each got eight (8) seats while Puntland and Somaliland were allotted 11 seats because of ‘their political maturity’. Puntland is the oldest FMS formed in 1998 while Somaliland declared independence in 1991.
Who elects Senators?
Federal Member State Parliaments in each State elect senators. A caucus of 46 elders elects Senators representing Somaliland. FMS presidents, in consultations with clan elders, nominate candidates. However, the absence of a clear legal framework gives FMS presidents overriding powers thus they can easily lock out political opponents. The ongoing nomination of candidates in the FMS is a case in point. Senate seats, just like those of MPs are distributed along clan lines.
Which electoral formula is used?
The election of Senators is based on a First-Past-the-Post or winner takes all model but a 50+1 caveat is in place to ensure the process is more competitive.