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All Roads Lead to the Somali Parliament: How We Should Empower the Leadership of the Somali Parliament

By Abdullahi Godah Barre
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The current parliament was formed under the last administration. It’s the same parliament that ushered the current administration. No doubt that it’s the one common branch of government that both the incumbent president and the opposition can agree on.   As such, both sides should empower the leadership of parliament to come up with a concrete plan that would move the country forward.

Parliament can be tasked to tackle major constitution crisis that impedes progress and can set this country back.   This plan should take approximately 6 - 24 months. This plan should include the immediate implementation of the presidential elections (this should happen immediately and by February 8th, 2021), followed by a road map to working out and finalizing the Somali Constitution.   The plan should also pave the way for a permanent solution to the issues I highlighted in my December 28th, 2020 analysis on major issues of contention, including crisis that looms in both Hiiran and Gedo as well as address the political question surrounding the northern regions.

Its time that the Somali people get behind the current parliament and find ways to resolve the political stalemate.   As you recall, on December 28th, 2020, I highlighted the looming regional crisis in both Hiiran and Gedo and the potential risk it poses for Somali unity.   As such, I’m calling again for the leadership of the parliament to save this country from its self and prevent the looming constitutional crisis that could risk disunity and set the country back with the potential of Somalia becoming a failed state.

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The Somali parliament should call for immediate intervention by ceasing all hostilities in both Hiiran and Gedo Regions.   It should immediately find a solution to the question of representation by the northern regions.   Somali parliament should also announce presidential elections and publish a consensus based schedule of the presidential elections in the coming weeks.   The current sitting parliament are selected and do not pose a risk from our enemies and they should be tasked with electing the next president of this great Country.   In the meantime, the Somali parliament should work with all sides to come up with a concrete road map to addressing the constitutional crisis and find way to finalize the Somali provisional constitution.   Its time we task the constitutional review committee to completing their mandate.

The Somali parliament should also sit with all sides and sign the road map that would usher in a new day for Somalia in the coming weeks, months ahead.

Power by any means have not favoured the outcome of a state building. Instead, it alienated large population of this country. It further set this country back decades unless a real peace building effort is put in place immediately after the presidential elections.  The major issue of contention that kick started the looming crisis in Hiiran and Gedo and continues to further alienate the northern regions is done in the name of presidential elections, this further makes a case for the current and stable parliament to continue the work on behalf of the Somali people. They are selected representatives and such, their role is not contested, for this reason, they should be in a position to safeguard the security of the country by coming together to safe Somalia for Somalis.

We cannot afford to have an absent parliament when we are moving closer to a political stalemate that could result in bloodshed.   Parliament of today can safe this country from its people.   Let’s empower parliament to do right by Somalia and Somalis.

Abdullahi Godah Barre is the former Ministry of Education and member of Somali Parliament.

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