When Farmajo became president of Somalia promised a reform of the electoral laws acceptable to stakeholders and the Federal Member States (FMS) but the legislation that Farmajo signed recently seems repugnant to most of the federal states in Somalia if not all of them. Critics of the law recently passed by the Somali parliament have objected to it on grounds that it carries some clauses that favour the incumbency and thus aimed at extending Farmajo’s stay in power. The subject of the on-going contestation is Article 53 that gives the incumbent president leeway to remain in power in case of failure to hold elections. Nearly all opposition politicians and the civil society groups in Somalia have condemned this law.
Farmajo’s signing of the controversial electoral laws in February 2020 further heightened the long standing suspicion that the general elections scheduled for later this year may not be held. This uncertainty has led some FMS to start agitating for autonomy from Mogadishu. So far, Puntland state has been the most aggressive in seeking to cut ties with Mogadishu buoyed by a special provision in Somalia’s constitution providing for its cessation. Jubaland and Galmudug are also passively pushing for their autonomy. In the South-West state, Farmajo’s support is waning with only a minority in favour of his leadership.
Farmajo’s administration has also been unable to steer Somalia into a constitutional review process despite having promised to do so. There have been accusations of the FGS of failing to chart the way forward for the constitutional review process. Recently, the leader of the Wadajir Party, Abdirahman Abdishakur accused the FGS leadership of having failed to deliver their promises to the Somali populace including charting a peaceful and stable future for Somalia.
The growing bad blood between member states and the FGS have led to the disbandment of the popular national leadership forum through which states could articulate their issues. Instead Farmajo’s administration has resorted to using the overly partisan legislative assembly which largely operates as a rubber stamping tool for his administration. The Farmajo administration has also been increasingly using state mercenary to crush dissenting voices in Somalia due to Farmajo’s aversion for opposition.
The FGS led by Farmajo have now turned into fighting semi-autonomous states’ leaders who have different political views. This is what will make the country never to taste peace, instead of the country concentrating in pacifying different regions from Al Shabaab militants with the help of AMISOM troops and these regional leaders they are busy playing divisive politics. When Farmajo clinched to power, Somalis had great hope on him, they saw a leader who would save them from the menace of AS militants and unite them for socio-economic prosperity but he has proved to be the same as the previous leaders who have ruled the country with greed and dictatorship.