The Galmudug Race & the Problem of Farmajo
Dhusamareb – August 2, 2021: The campaign for the senate in the Federal Parliament is taking a turn against women as allocation of women is becoming a secondary priority for both Farmajo and his allies in the Federal Member States. The political battle in the senate is more controversial and competitive in Galmudug than anywhere in the country.
According to credible sources from Galmudug, Mr. Ahmed Abdi Karie, President of Galmudug who is known as Qoorqoor, has colluded with Farmajo to rig the race to the Senate seats in favor of the incumbent whose term has expired in February 2021.
Several independent candidates have expressed concerns that Galmudug leadership is advancing the interest of particular candidates while marginalizing the competent ones who are the legitimate voices of the clans in the State.
Former Federal minister of information, Mr. Abdulkadir Hussein Mohamed “Jaahweyn”, who is a popular contender for the Galmudug senate seat in opposition to the long-time incumbent Mr. Abdi Ahmed Dhuhulow, has warned Qoorqoor against “the unfair approach he has encountered during 2016 elections” through a post on his Facebook page.
In a press statement issued on July 26, a coalition of candidates from various clans of Galmudug have taken a unified position against possible meddling in the race that would eventually unravel the Galmudug progress over the past few years.
“The coalition warns against direct intervention in the election process or any subversion on the candidates by state officials” read the statement which concluded, “If these warnings are unheeded, the head of the state will be accountable for the consequences and the resultant implications of their meddling.”
The Galmudug Coalition of Reform and Fair Representation has so far garnered formidable political clout among the clans which advocate for transparency and fairness in the process. Among the candidates were former President of Galmudug, Mr. Ahmed Duale Gelle, Xaaf; who has previously confronted Mr. Qoorqoor during the controversial presidential election in Galmudug.
An analyst privy to the impending crisis in Galmudug told Keydmedia English “Farmajo is eyeing several states in which Galmudug remains key, after Southwest and Hirshabelle states, to secure loyal voters in his bid for re-election.”
Other observers pointed out that Galmudug is on track to become the battleground of 2021 elections as it converges aspirants from the prominent clans who are vying for the top seat in Somalia.
However, Farmajo is facing the daunting task of galvanizing supporters beyond his clan base. A prominent traditional elder, Mr. Beyle Omar Daad, from the clan of the outgoing president described him as “A divider who unfairly marginalized even his own clan of Marehan between Raadamiir and Wagardha is very unlikely to address the far more complex issues in Somalia.”
Ms. Deqa Hussien Mire, another contentious senate race within the Marehan in Galmudug, draws a challenge to the Farmajo campaign who has been accused of marginalizing women from the political system. Ms. Mire who has been supporting the liberation of Galmudug from the scourge of Al Shabaab, is determined to bring the rotating senate seat into the fold of Wagardha, a subclan of Marehan.
Despite being an underdog, Ms. Mire “still has a fair chance to beat any candidate put forth by Farmajo because of her moderate leadership and bridging credibility among Galmudug clans” said an insider in the Galmudug race.
In early May, the Security Council stressed the importance of holding “peaceful, transparent, inclusive, and credible elections, which respect the agreed-upon minimum 30% women’s quota in parliament.”
The women quota for representation could only be enforced if the international community asserts sufficient pressure on the heads of the federal member states because, in a patriarchal society, clan elders would always advance their interest through male representations. In previous elections, however, this quota was not only difficult to ascertain but has drawn fierce debates in the process.
Whether Qoorqoor does the bidding of the incumbent or not, Farmajo-sponsored representatives are going to be no match for the independent candidates proliferating across Galmudug. As noted by many observers, the contest for Galmudug representation will be seen as the deciding factor in the following presidential race in the parliament.
In exactly a month from today, it will be 10 years after Al-Shabab was forced to withdraw from Mogadishu. Low on ammunition and morale, the group made a strategic decision to revert to a guerrilla campaign. Ten years later, and after having been forced to adapt to newer and ever-escalating threats, today AS is stronger and richer than the day it abandoned its campaign to take the capital.