Somalia’s military, long structured along clan lines, has struggled to integrate its forces and unite them around a national identity, allowing units to fracture along the lines of regional disagreements and threatening a return to civil war.
The Somali government has announced a timetable for presidential elections to be held, signalling that a months-long political crisis could soon be at an end. However, not all tensions between the nation’s powerful states have yet been resolved, including the central debate over just how the vote should be structured.
Further, the votes for the 275 representatives in the House of the People will be cast not by popular vote, but by 101 special delegates chosen by clan elders. Senate candidates are nominated by presidents of Somalia’s five states, who are then endorsed by local legislatures. There are 54 seats in the Senate.
However, there will be double the number of polling locations and double the number of delegates as in the last elections in 2017, and the registration cost for women will be lower, which officials hope will boost female electoral participation.
“I commend the leaders of the council and hope the election will be a peaceful and transparent one, based on the agreed-upon schedule and processes,” Roble said, according to AFP.
Crisis Over Alleged Power Grab
The elections were originally supposed to be held in December 2020, following an agreement hammered out in September of that year in which all parties broadly…