Are there political lessons and experience for President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud (HSM) and others to learn from the failures of 2012-2016/2017 Somali Presidency?
HSM came to power with a popular applause with high expectations from his ascent to the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Somalia. That popular support and unrealistic people’s expectations faded within the first year of his four-year mandate? The question is why did that happen so fast?
To answer that question, I believe there is a combination of many factors that led to the failure of President’s moral authority to govern. In my opinion, some are more critical than others in harming President’s operations and performance irreparably. These include, but not limited to the following:
- Rampant Corruption
- Lack of, or, poor management of high popular expectations
- Huge political capital spent on resisting and fighting the creation of Jubaland Regional Administration and later, propping up and supporting Galmudugh Administration that didn’t meet and satisfy the basic Constitutional requirement and lately, imposing HirShabelle Administration coercively, while in the process of doing all these, ignored all understanding and agreements the Federal Government entered into with Puntland Administration over the years. That way, the President had lost the ability to act as a fair and honest broker in resolving conflicting clan and regional contradictions.
- President’s self-denial of the legacy of the Civil War and enormous pain suffered by the masses, ignoring calls for national healing and nationwide reconciliation.
- Junta style approach to governance in coalition with secret and underground clique members of dubious religious and political background with suspicious national and international connections, The Infamous Damul Jadiid.
- Suspicious relationships with foreign entities, persons and states at expenses of Somali sovereignty and vital national interests.
- Naked violation of the Constitution by acting both as the Head of State and Head of Government. There were no government job descriptions for President Hassan Sh. Mohamud. The three branches of government had lost meaning and significance in the Republic. The abysmal situation had finally ended up in the arbitrary creation of an illegal super-body called “Madasha Qaran”, an outlaw that had taken away for itself all powers of government
- Most importantly, President Hassan failed to listen to the concerns of the people on his leadership.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud wasn’t all negative though. He is polite, polished and always smiles, which indicate that he may have a lot of sense of humour. He also seemed that he enjoyed his job amid tremendous challenges. On the opposite, President Formaggio looks like not needing to smile since his popularity among Somalis sky-rocketed for the time being.
These are bitter experiences for the New Formaggio Presidency, the New Cabinet and future Somali administrations to pick up very quickly in order to avoid the President’s self-inflicted fatal wounds. I wish the New Government good luck and hard work! Congratulations on the election victory!