Western nations press Somalia to annul a universal suffrage law that was unanimously passed by the Parliament and signed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on April 12.
The People’s Representatives, Somali Lower House, took a widely expected constitutional step on April 12th to end the federal election deadlock and passed a law repealing the controversial September 17th agreement on an indirect election.
The law which will make it possible for the first time since 1969 the universal suffrage to directly elect members of parliament and the president was welcomed by Somalis who where tired of clan supremacy, vote-buying of the past elections and regions ability to block elections.
Although the law was passed by an absolute majority of MPs, the law has drawn the ire of individuals who had much to gain from the old indirect electoral process and are wielding another civil war threat.
it also divided the international community along the lines of those who value Somalia’s right to sovereignty versus those countries who want to keep it under international control.
While it is a non-issue for those members of the UN Security Council who value Somalis to deal with their internal affairs within the framework of their own established rules, it is now evident that American and European countries stand out as the ones who want the Somali popular will to bend to their own interests.
As soon as the election law, which also extend administration’s current term, was passed, officials from Western nations published hostile statements attacking Somalia’s federal institutions and issued an avalanche of threats if the new law is not annulled.
After calling Somali leaders to hold election “immediately” for months, all at the same time shielding Puntland and Jubaland leaders who were blocking the elections they knew they would lose, the US, EU and UK have changed gear and now target the Somali parliament for passing the election bill and the president for signing the bill into law.
“The decision to extend the Federal Government’s term undermines further the country’s peace and security. We call on Somalia’s Federal Government and Federal Member States to return to talks and agree to a way forward.” tweeted Antony Blinken, the US Foreign Secretary.
Another highly incendiary tweet from the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee addressed to the Somali President and Parliament reads as: “Engineering a term extension is a breach of democratic norms & risks destabilizing Somalia. Stakeholders must reach consensus. Attempts to undermine dialogue on a path to credible polls MUST stop.”
These American and European governments officials give support to agitators by branding state institutions are illegal but they also projected instability if the parliament and the government don’t change course.
These Western nations behavior is in line with established foreign policies towards African, Asian and Latin American nations that have created unrest, violence and human displacement.
The Somali administration knows the danger coming behind these American and European stance and has demanded respect for Somalia’s sovereignty and multiplied attempts to build bridges with these nations who are also donors and members of the UN Security Council.
Today, the Somali Foreign Ministry published a communique stating the government resolve to address elections and security issues and commitment to a free, fair and direct election as demanded by the people.
The statement reads as: “The Federal Government of Somalia is deeply dismayed to see public statements made by some of its international partners and long-time friends that misconstrue the laws passed by government institutions to uphold the democratic rights of the people to choose their leadership, and instead paint them as unlawful term extensions.
While we appreciate the concerns of our friends and international partners for Somalia’s stability and security, it is regrettable to witness champions of democratic principles falling short of supporting the aspirations of the Somali people to exercise their democratic rights.
Inflammatory statements laden with threats, which undermine the political independence and sovereign rights of national institutions, will only serve to embolden terrorist organizations and anti-peace elements in Somalia”.
This renewed interest in Somalia coincides with the discovery of oil in Somalia. American, British, Norwegian, French and Italian oil companies have already signed contracts with some of the members of the previous Somali government without parliamentary approval. These are the same people who are leading the opposition to the free, fair and direct election law.