The adoption of the new provisional constitution; from ‖Somali belonging ‖ to ‖ tribalism characters
This is a full survey of the field, and it is not an institute guide. It is the work of a single individual independent scholar’s of the economical and political conflict in Somalia, I do not claim any form of institute authority beyond which is derived from quoted texts. I tried my utmost to steer away from these issues which are, or may become controversial. Therefore, I have been careful to limit the discussion of recent popular votes and decisions of the new provisional constitution. My goal is to provide a concise summary of the nature of those contracts, and their consociational/consensus democracy foundations. The primary objective of this introductory guide is to explain to the non-specialist curious Somali’s the new provisional constitution contexts commonly used in constitutionalism, and their consociational/consensus democracy foundation.
It is important for me to make it clear that I am not endorsing any particular institution or party which labels itself consociational/consensus democracy. There are many honest, sincere, and hardworking Somali’s( men and women) who are currently struggling to make it easier for Somali’s in Somalia and other Somali’s around the world to lead their lives in accordance to consociational/consensus democracy, without having to make unreasonable consociational/consensus democracy. Such individuals and groups deserve our support and du’aa.
In this sense, this guide falls short in providing the reader with full information about popular votes in the new provisional constitution context; because of my interest in Somalia, I am mainly concerned with situations in were the elements of consociational/consensus democracy are used according to the established constitutional rules, or at least in ways which are compatible with such rules. In such situations consociational/consensus democracy may be said to be used in the new provisional constitutional context. It is, however, important to realize that one of the elements: the popular vote, has a long and important history in context to where it is not commonly accepted.
After a twenty-one year war with major human and material costs, none of the fighters have found themselves on the winning side, at least militarily.
The new provisional constitution did not intend to replace the old Somali political system, but only provided a modified version of the National Pact, which took into account in the political, socio-economic and the geopolitical realities. This means that political identity was received from the remains until further notice. The Somali governance is based on three principles; separation, balance; and interaction between the institutions (Introduction). In practice, the principles: a separation, balance and interaction between the three largest political tribe affinities, then these ‖controls‖ respective institution at in accordance with the national pact.
The new provisional constitution was updated in Somali identity from ‖Somali belonging ‖ to ‖ tribalism characters ‖ (introductory part), but it only provides Somalia as the final home to all Somalis (this refers to the introductory part), which aims to ensure independence and never concludes/incorporated in any of the tribe Unions. It is an important point that meets the minority tribes in their concerns. State institutions were replaced by 4.5 quotas with full parity, although the President remained as the head of State, the symbol of the country’s ‖unity‖ ‖protector‖ of the Constitution so curtailed that his power as the Prime Minister and using his advantageous power as a president. In a civil war there is mostly no winning side, and in Somalia are no-winners-nor -losers mantras which are repeated after each settlement. It may be true in a sense that all are losers of whom had participated in the civil war, however there should be a winner.
Below follows an expression of consociational / consensus democracy in the Somali new provisional constitution:
Any political or territorial autonomy does not exist in Somalia and power is centralized although the new provisional constitutions are talking about administrative decentralization. In the new Somali provisional constitution is guaranteed that the various regional political tribe affinities autonomy in all related to their civil status. This type of autonomy is also known as extra-territorial autonomy and is characterized by the absence of a specific territorial demarcation of the State. This is suitable in Somalia since the demographic map is not distinctive, despite a certain concentration of regional political tribe affinities. To divide the country after regional political tribe affinities dissemination would therefore submit a Swiss similar map. In addition to the impractical as there is a lack of general support to the Somalis.
The earlier 4.5 quotas of minority tribes and majority tribes in Parliament and government bodies were replaced by garowe II with total parity. Proportionality in respect of governmental services was abolished in addition to the highest state positions. Furthermore tribe affinities proportionally represented within the minority tribes and majority tribes and proportionally between the regions. This means for example that of the minority tribes represent 50% of the 4.5 quota in order; they may 31 of the total 275 mandate. For participation in government regards that for all the regional political tribe affinities be―fair and ―reasonably represented as it accords. The Somali political system applies more quotas than proportionality. To begin with, the minority tribes is not longer 1/3 the population but is much less, approximately 39% despite that they have seats in the Parliament and ministerial position not divide equally. Proportionality applies instead to a certain part of the regions. A seat between the larger and smaller is not equal despite the fact that the latter constitute a major proportion of the Somalia’s people.
At the start of the new provisional Constitution it referred to broad coalitions by denying the legitimacy for each authority to contradict Co-existence-Treaty (pact of mutual existence) with the reference to leave any group outside power influence. This will also be discussed of which requires a ‖fair‖ and ‖ reasonable ‖ representation of regional political tribe affinities in the formulation of the government.
The mutual right of veto may be expressed in different ways in the Somali political system. Initially, there must be an absolute majority for any parliamentary session which gives (of the division is minority and majority) the possibility to deprive legitimacy and actually impose veto for the whole parliamentary activities. Each session outside this framework is illegitimate. It requires an absolute majority for the election of the speaker and 2/3 for dismissal. A presidential election requires 2/3 of the Members to be present to elect the President and the same in the discussion and vote of constitutional issues. When shaping of a new government updated it requires both the President and prime minister’s candidate approves the new government. The government is also not legitimate if the primary regional political tribe affinities is not represented or if 1/3 of the Ministers are absent. Decisions are taken in agreement unless if it is possible. In other cases the majority of decision-making with the exception of matters that is national fundamental for regional political tribe affinities. These issues are; constitutional changes, national emergency, war and peace, general mobilization, international agreements and treaties, the national budget, comprehensive and long-term development projects, the addition of high public services, changes in the administrative division, the dissolution of Parliament, electoral law, civil law, personal laws and dismissal of Ministers. The Use of the veto weapons can also be used to paralyze the parliamental work. Articles gives the Speaker the exclusive right to maintain order in Parliament, which means that he/she can enable each parliamentary session.
Favourable premises in Somalia
How do the Somalia consociational/consensus democracy full fill seven favorable conditions? Whereas examination of the conditions of the model misssuccess emerges an ambiguous results. The following is a short description of the conditions in the country.
1. At least three groups, all of which make minorities, should share on the political powers. It exists in other words a multipolar balance of power.
Somalia is the home of 18-19 (with the new region high shabelle) regional political tribe affinities. However the system rests on all the 19 regional political tribe affinities groups from Ras Asair (North of Somalia) to Ras kampony (South of Somalia).
2. The country should have a multiparty system where no party is dominant and a government is dependent on the coalitions-building.
All the tribe affinities groupings succeeded to get into Parliament.
3. The country’s size; the model works probably better in smaller countries.
Somalia is ranked 156.e country with its 637 660 km² and populated by 9,3 – 9,5 million people depending on this source.
4. The Size matters on adoption to affect affinities of the political unity. Nevertheless, the less the more stronger identification to the same unit.
Somalia is no old or ‖natural‖ design. Here, it has historically been a fragmentation of its identity. In and with the outbreak of civil war, the discussion to a large extent been settled in question on the country’s regional political tribe affinities. The Constitution preamble statueras its definitive and united in our own country within the recognised borders of all Somalia. Furthermore in the introductory part provided that the country is Islamic in its identity and tribe affinities.
5. Close contact constitutes a security risk. Population segments should therefore to some extent live insulated.
There is a certain concentration, but not at all in the sense in which allows any isolation of any of the populations.
6. There is a tradition of elite arrangements
Today’s Somalia is a regional political tribe affinities parliamentary democracy, a semi-presidential system and with a prominent Prime Minister. But the country has a long tradition of elite arrangements, and in practice governed Somalia of a so-called troika, made up of institutions over three heads; the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker.
7. Elite has a steady control over their supporters
Few landscape representing the majority of each group. This means that voter mobility between regional political tribe affinities is limited. Minorities represented in Parliament of ½ block with 39% of the all tribes and majority represents of 4 block with 61% of the all tribes.
Traditionally, the elite had a firm grip on their supporters as can be deduced from the fact that the leaders have been linked between the individuals and the State. Citizens have turned to these to jobs, loans, internal disputes or other conflicts with the State. In this context, it is irrelevant that of a leader to call himself, a socialist yesterday, an Islamist today, liberal tomorrow and a conservative the day after. He will always be able to count on his supporters votes.
The consensus model
In my survey of the Somali political system in the light of consensus model reveals an ambiguous situation. Moreover, not all of consensus criteria is applicable to the Somali political system, since the country is an entity –with no federal state. It is at the federal level such as decentralized government or bi-chamber system is to be found.
The answer to coalition-/ majority government has already been taken up during ‖ broad coalition’s ‖ for the consociational model.
Executive versus legislative power
The executive power, which was represented by the President, after Garowe II agreement has strongly curtailed and power has been transferred to other institutions. Earlier the presidential empowerment which was the appointment of Prime Minister or the dissolution of Parliament is now belongs instead to Parliament’s and the Government’s areas of competence.
President role reduced to be the head of State, the symbol of ‖national unity‖ presidential posts is however not completely powerless and his or her participation in formation of a government is in fact powerful and efficient. No government should take the form without the President’s approval, and although the President cannot conclude international agreements, it is nevertheless he (which have so far been) which leads the negotiations. When the government takes form, the responsobility of the Parliament and the President can only postpone laws in one month before they become legally effective. The previous executive hegemony has therefore in and with Garowe II agreement can instead be abrogated and the legislative power described as dominant.
Party and election systems
Somalia has a relative old and poor party tradition. The Somali people are represented in Parliament of 0 parties, movements and independent associations. Diversity of the political tribe affinities however, varies. The election delivered for exemple; minority represented in Parliament a group of 31seats while majority groups is represented by 4 groups of 61seats of each. Moreover, the imbalance within certain political affinities which is traced back on the election system based on majority vote.
Federal / unit level
When I look at the differences at the federal/ unit level I find also different results. Somalia is not a federal state, power is thus centralized. The legislature, which is also represented in a chamber but there is a call in the Constitution which require the Parliament to take various measures to achieve the creation of a non political tribe affinities Parliament. At the same time as the creation of a parliamentarics where political tribe affinities are represented, and its jurisdiction of competence bounded to fundamental national issues.
The Constitution may be revised after an invitation by the President and a legislative proposal which the Government submits a parliamentary vote. A revision can only negotiate and voted on 2/3 of the Members are present.
According to the Somali constitution be examined conflicts arising from parliamentary or presidential elections of the Constitutional Council. The three heads, President, Prime Minister and of the Speaker, are turning together with ten Members of Parliament to the Council in such a test. Although the official religious leaders can turn to the Council in matters relating to their personal status, freedom of religion or other religious exercise and education. The Council shall also ensure laws and regulations constitutional legitimacy and determine conflicts which arise between the institutions. Initially, the Council had also interpretation represent of the Constitution, but it was later to be modified in trembling to gather such power in an independent institution.
I will now, with a paraphrase of my famous words, say loudly and clearly that we (people of Somalia) our tribalism which is what prevented us from adopting the convention of liberal democracy, socialism, capitalism, Islamism, and conservatism, as countries around the world had convented ,therefore can our tribalism be accepted in this time to adopt the convention of consociational/consensus democracy?
National economist (cilmiga dhaqaallaha & siyaasadda)
Haji Awes, Abdikader