Somalia 2022 Corruption Report

Executive Summary

During the five years of the previous Somali administration (2017-2022), the international community was vital in funding the government, covering close to a half of the national budget. This presented it with the obligation to demand accountability of the Somali government, but there is little indication of it having positive influence. Monies were stolen as usual; elections rigged as usual; political opponents harassed and attacked as usual; and democratisation unimproved as usual.

All the undemocratic actions and corruption was subsidised by the international community, including $5,936,316.23 in external assistance that could not be accounted for in 2020 in the audit conducted by the Office of Auditor General (OAG).

While the past five years saw some actions taken against a handful of low and mid-level corrupt officials, it was performative at best as little institutional mechanisms were put in place to guard against systemic corruption.

Government contracts continued to be given to political cronies of those in power, enabled by an opaque procurement process. Not only were kickbacks the norm, but some officials were also reportedly shadow owners of companies to which they awarded contracts.

Ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) continued to collect fees and use them at source, contrary to the law. When the Auditor General (AG) reported on MDAs that shared statements with him, he could not find many MDAs willing to share information with him in subsequent years.

To make matters worse, the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2019 was written in such a way as to give MDAs a loophole that allowed them to not share information with the AG if they so pleased.  This Act needs to be urgently amended to fix that issue.

Only five MDAs bothered to share financial statements with the AG in 2018 and 2019, showing collection and usage at source of $3,207,570. Subsequent years saw five embassies share their collection and usage at source of $1,335,475.46. This total of $4,543,045.46 is a very small fraction of the monies being collected and used at source by MDAs, making a mockery of the PFM and the annual budget.

Based on our review of the OAG’s reports for the years 2019-21, at least $95,804854 was unaudited.

Reflective of the performative nature of institutional building done in the past five years, two commissions that we have been advocating for were created, but without following the correct parliamentary procedure, thereby rendering the effort useless: The Judicial Service Commission and the Anticorruption Commission were created without senate approval. As expected, they were both disbanded by the new President in October 2022.

Download the full report here:

Note on the Somalia elections on 15 May 2022

Today’s selection of the new president by the Somali parliament reflects the internationally-enabled failures of the past two administrations in Mogadishu. Despite committing to hold direct elections in the country, the past two administrations have chosen to have a narrow electorate to enable them to buy votes and rig elections.

The election cycle of 2016/17 was fraught with vote-buying and candidates choosing their own electors. The results were predictable for the individuals that rigged the elections, encouraging them and others to emulate them in the election cycle of 2021/22. This cycle was even more corrupt and less open, with almost all seats closed for selected candidates.

Without doubt, the 2021/22 parliamentary elections yielded the desired outcomes for those who rigged the elections. They succeeded in electing virtually all their desired candidates to parliament. The only lesson here is that it is politically advantageous to rig elections and that there is no accountability for doing so. Rational political actors will calculate that they would have to be even more vicious in their vote rigging and buying in the next election cycle.

As the Somali public does not pay the bulk of the funds that run the federal government, its leaders have no respect for them or their priorities. The government has more respect and is more responsive to the international community that pays its bills and gives it physical protection. It is therefore unlikely that universal suffrage will ever be achieved in Somalia in the foreseeable future, as long as the international partners do not tie their support to democratisation and good governance.

Continuing in this path will not only progressively degrade public confidence in the government but will also fail to achieve the goals of the government’s international backers. Security will further worsen as security forces are used for political reasons; immigration will pick up as the country is mismanaged without accountability; and piracy may see a comeback as economic opportunities decline. Of more interest to the international partners, terrorist groups will continue expanding in the country and using it as a base of operations to destabilise the region and beyond.

Therefore, the international support for Somalia needs to focus on democratisation and good governance in Somalia, not for the interests of the Somali people, but for theirs. Remaining on this path will only waste their taxpayers’ money while attaining negligible effects in support of their respective national objectives. 

Not Feigning Legitimacy: Elections in Somalia

Not Feigning Legitimacy: Elections in Somalia

The elections that have happened to date have been entirely rigged, with four main methods being used to do this. The first method involved the “closing” of seats for a particular candidate, with the candidate selecting their opponent who normally ends up resigning moments before voting begins. An open vote would then ensue, guaranteeing the sole candidate to win in a landslide. Of the 54 senators in the upper house, 22 were elected in this manner.  The second method of rigging the elections was by denying an undesirable candidate the security clearance. The third method was by creating fake voters that were not representative of the clans to whom the seat belongs – this was done by ignoring the real traditional elders and having someone else pose as them. The last two methods were primarily used in the lower house elections, with all candidates unwanted by the Federal Member States (FMS) presidents being sidelined. The fourth method was by using monetary incentives to ensure that the wanted candidates were elected by the FMS parliaments and electoral delegates.

Upper House Elections

The upper house elections in the FMSs of Southwest, Puntland, and Jubbaland were totally controlled by the leadership in the respective FMSs. The candidates were handpicked for loyalty, and the FMS parliaments that were electing the senators were paid directly by the FMS leadership. In those three FMSs where the FMS presidents maintain a tight grip on the FMS parliaments, all MPs were paid $3000 each. The candidates were expected to pay for their registration fees and that of their fake candidates. In turn, some candidates received that money from individuals running for president or from the FMS presidents themselves.

The other three FMSs saw the candidates privately paying the FMS parliamentarians. As before, they were largely funded by individuals running for president. In HirShabelle, the most expensive position saw all candidates paying a combined $9,000 per seat. As HirShabelle has 99 FMS MPs, that seat cost close to one million USD. Bribes were paid to a “committee” representing the MPs. This committee would in turn go about disbursing the loot.

In Galmudug, the state “closed” seats for its selected individuals but did not pay for them. The desired candidates were expected to bring their bribes, which were usually $2,000 per vote, to the leadership of the state, which disbursed the funds on their behalf after keeping a cut of the loot. As Galmudug has 89 MPs, this is $178,000 for every desired candidate. The candidates all brought along fake candidates that resigned before elections occurred.

In the Somaliland elections that occurred in Mogadishu, six out of the 11 seats were “closed”, with the desired candidates bringing along fake candidates. As there is no FMS president or parliament for Somaliland, the bribes were among the lowest, at $1000 per vote, which equals a total of $54,000 per seat.

Lower House Elections

The lower house elections were easier to rig because it did not involve the FMS parliaments. Here, the security clearance was the main tool to deny candidates from running. After that was done, desirable voters would be selected by bringing in delegates that were handpicked by the chosen candidate, regardless of whether they represented their constituency or not.

The elections that have happened to date at the lower house were more expensive in Galmudug where it could reach $2,000 per vote ($202,000 per seat), and it was cheapest in Southwest where the cheapest seat was for $150 per vote ($15,300 per seat). However, it seems most of the money did not reach the voting delegates in Southwest state; the money was paid to middlemen representing the FMS leadership. The delegates were given a fraction of the actual bribes paid by/for the candidates.

Outlook and recommendations

With most of the lower house elections remaining, and with the FMS leaders united in their pleasure with the way things are going, it is very likely that what we have seen will continue. The elections are not only illegitimate, but it also risks causing Somalia to slide back into civil war. Although the process is itself undemocratic, unashamed stealing of seats would further weaken what little trust the public have in the process. And with some politicians and clans threatening to start a parallel process, chances of violence are elevated.

Our recommendations are:

  1. Unless the candidates are wanted for crimes, the security clearance should be discarded. If a candidate is rejected for security reasons, the reasons should be made public.
  • No elections should be held for a seat while its traditional leaders are maintaining that fake voters are involved.
  • All the lower house elections that have been held should be discarded.

The Ridiculous Results

Here we have the list of all elections held to date and the unbelievable winning margins.

Upper house:

ConstituencyWinner Winning VotesWinning %Type of vote
PuntlandCabdiraxmaan Maxamed Maxamuud5481.8182Secret
PuntlandMaxamed Cali Yusuf “gaagaab”6598.4848Open vote
PuntlandMaxamed Cabdi Cusmaan Majiino6598.4848Secret
PuntlandCabdullaahi Cali Xirsi Tima-cadde6598.4848Open vote
PuntlandCabdisamad Yuusuf Maxamed6496.9697Secret
PuntlandDaahir Ayaanle Siciid6496.9697Open vote
PuntlandFarxaan Cali xuseen6598.4848Secret
PuntlandZaynab ismail Mohamed6598.4848Secret
PuntlandCabdiqani Geelle Maxamed5278.7879Secret
PuntlandSamiiro Maxamuud Xaaji Cawad6598.4848Open vote
PuntlandSareedo Maxamed Xasan 646496.9697Open vote
SWSZamzam Ibraahim Cali8185.2632Secret
SWSAyaan Aadan Cabdullaahi7983.1579Secret
SWSAadan Cabdinasir Maxamed8084.2105Secret
SWSDr. Xuseen Maxamed Daahir7174.7368Secret
SWSMaxamuud Maxamed Cabdinuur7680Secret
SWSXasan Xuseen Xaaji7477.8947Secret
SWSCali Sheekh Maxamuud Gacal6871.5789Secret
SWSCabdiwali Maxamed Ibraahim (Xaabsade)6871.5789Secret
SomalilandCabdi Xaashi Cabdullaahi4495.6522Open vote
SomalilandSaalax Axmed Jaamac  (Wasiirka dastuurka Soomaaliya)2963.0435Secret
SomalilandProf. Cabdi Ismaaciil Samatar2554.3478Secret
SomalilandCismaan Abuukar Dubbe2860.8696Secret
SomalilandLayla Axmed Ismaaciil3984.7826Open vote
SomalilandBilaal Idiris Cabdullaahi3882.6087Secret
SomalilandSaciid Cabdi Xuseen4291.3043Open vote
SomalilandNaciimo Xasan Xaaji3065.2174Secret
SomalilandAxmed Maxamed Saciid4393.4783Open vote
SomalilandAxmed Ibraahin Maxamed “Qorane”4495.6522Open vote
SomalilandDeeqo Xasan Xuseen56100Open vote
JubalandIlyaas Badal Gaboose5575.3425Secret
JubalandCabdullaahi Sh. Ismaaciil “Fartaag”7197.2603Open vote
JubalandCabdirisaaq Maxamed Cusmaan5980.8219Secret
JubalandIftin Xasan Iman “Baasto”72100Open vote
JubalandXasan Daahir Yarow5980.8219Secret
JubalandIbraahim Awgaab Cismaan5778.0822Secret
JubalandLayla Nuur Maax6386.3014Secret
JubalandMaryan Faarax Kadiye5068.4932Secret
GalmudugSiciid Siyaad Shirwac8797.7528Open vote
GalmudugYuusuf Geelle Ugaas 8797.7528Open vote
GalmudugCabdi Axmed Dhuxulow8696.6292Open vote
GalmudugSamsam Daahir Maxamuud89100Open vote
GalmudugCabdixakiin Macallin Axmed8696.6292Open vote
GalmudugDuniyo Maxamed Cali8898.8764Open vote
GalmudugCabdi Xasan Cawaale8393.2584Open vote
GalmudugCabdi Cismaan Xareed 8393.2584Open vote
HirshabeelleMuuse Suudi Yalaxow5555.5556Secret
HirshabeelleNuur Maxamed Geedi “Canjeex”7070.7071Secret
HirshabeelleFartuun C/qaadir Faarax Karaama 8383.8384Open vote
HirshabeelleCali Shacbaan Ibrahim6262.6263Secret
HirshabeelleZamzam Cabdulaahi7777.7778Secret
HirshabeelleXasan Iidoow Muxumed 6969.697Secret
HirshabeelleDr Cusmaan Maxamuud Dufle )6868.6869Secret
HirshabeelleAxmed Maxamed Cali “Af-cadey”5252.5253Secret

Lower house:

ConstituencyWinnerWinning votesWinning margin
HOP067Yaasiin Cabdullahi Maxamuud (Farey) 6867.33
HOP103Maxamed Cali Xasan – Under Investigation7877.23
HOP104Mahad Cabdalle Cawad8483.17
Hop272Maxamuud Cabdiraxmaan Cumar6564.36
HOP26Yuusuf Geelle Ugaas8281.19
HOP225Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye9695.05
HOP202Aamino Cumar Jaamac101100
HOP210Faadumo Xasan Cali9190.1
HOP208Maxamed Haaruun Cabdullaahi9998.02
HOP233Axmed Cismaan Diiriye6564.36
HOP239Mahdi Maxamed Guuleed9796.04
HOP237Biixi Iimaan Cige9190.1
HOP182Maxamed Mursal Sheekh Cabdiraxmaan8887.13
HOP170Aadan Maxamed Nuur Saransoor8281.19
HOP171Fowsiya Maxamed Sheekh8483.17
HOP054Cabdishakuur Cali Mire8584.16
HOP043Xuseen Yuusuf Qaasim8180.2
HOP189Aadan Maxamed Nuur6362.38
HOP042Cabdicaziz Xaaji Cabdi8079.21
HOP213Amino Maxamed Mursal7978.22
HOP180Sadaat Maxamed Nuur8786.14
HOP154Sareedo Maxamed Cabdalla- Under Investigation8988.12
HOP193Cabdullahi Aadan Axmed6665.35
HOP041Nuura Mustafa Muqtaar8382.18

State of Accountability in Somalia in 2020

With poor rule of law and non-existent institutions to hold those in power accountable, bribe paying is on the rise in Somalia, especially in areas with strong state presence. While overall bribe-paying is 14%, it is a deflated number because the state is weak or not present in most of the country. In some districts in Mogadishu, where the state is strongest, bribe-paying is as high as 50%. Demand for bribes is highest with the federal government security forces, regional security forces, and Al-Shabab. The FMSs of Southwest State and the Banadir Regional Authority (a de facto FMS) see a disproportionate bribe demand, strengthening the assessment that heavier state presence is characterised by increase in incidences of bribe paying.

Securitisation without strengthening the rule of law is leading Somalia towards having a state that is unconstrained by law and unresponsive to the will of the people. Those investing in security in Somalia have a moral obligation to demand and invest more in the rule of law and democratisation, including anticorruption, or risk creating an authoritarian state. Such a state will not fulfil the aim of Somalia’s donors, as terrorism will continue to go unchecked, and those in power will continue to misuse donor funds for their own security and not for the reason they received the funds.


Somalia’s state collapse in 1991 was preceded by 22 years of dictatorship that saw the suspension of accountable institutions and the erosion of the rule of law and the brutal use of the state’s powers to keep the ruling elite in power. Unfortunately for Somalia, it seems little was learned from that chapter in our history. In the reconstituted Somalia, the bulk of investment has gone into strengthening the state without strengthening the rule of law or building its accountable institutions. This is analogous to building a car without safety features such as breaks and airbags. Without the necessary institutions to check the power of the security forces, public trust in the state and their willingness to respect the rule of law is diminished as state power is used against political opponents and the law favours bribe-payers.

The current trajectory of the reconstituted Somali state does not inspire confidence that the end result will not be state failure if and when international support is halted. This report will show that bribe-paying is not only very high across the country, but also significantly higher in areas where the state is strongest. This suggests that the disproportionate investment in security as opposed to the rule of law and democratisation has resulted in security forces that are unaccountable except to their paymasters; justice that is sold to the highest bidder; and a disregard for state authority by the citizenry.

While Somalia’s international donors have spent a lot of their people’s taxes on supporting democratisation in Somalia, little has changed in the past nine years. Members of parliament are selected by gatekeepers that have little to no representative authority. Without an accountable government, it is impossible for the public to affect their future or trust the government as representative of their interests.

Download full report here:

Akhbaar Huban: Combating Disinformation in Somali Media

As we mark the International Anticorruption Day today, we are pleased to announce the fruits of marqaati’s efforts in the past seven months: a mechanism designed to combat disinformation in the Somali media, improve the quality of news, and educate the public in identifying fake news and reliable sources of news. We have created a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. We also have an Android app in development that will be available in the next few weeks.

Akhbaar Huban on Firefox:

Akhbaar Huban on Chrome:

Examples of rated websites:

Curbing Corruption: Minor Gains

Executive summary

The period since our last report of September 2018 saw elections held in the Federal Member States (FMS) of Puntland (8 January 2019), Jubbaland (August 2019), and Southwest State (19 December 2018). As predicted in that report, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) was heavily involved in said elections, trying to promote a candidate in line with its vision of Somalia. The result was a tightening of FGS influence in the FMSs nearest to the capital and further losing influence in Jubbaland and Puntland.

In Mogadishu, the government took modest steps to improve transparency and accountability. It increasingly shared  data on government reports and published expenditure reports from 2018 and the first two quarters of 2019.

On accountability, the Auditor General released his first report. The report provided a useful outline of the institutional weaknesses of various government departments. It showed an utter lack of bookkeeping in some departments; lack of an internal audit; misspending of funds for goods and services not included in the budget; lack of transparency in contracting; poor and illegal procurement procedures; and millions in missing funds. It was a brave and important step in building credible institutions.

As we head into an election year in 2020 and as anticorruption mechanisms remain weak and unimproved, incidences of bribery and vote-buying are expected to continue being a problem. Likewise, the lack of an electoral model so close to when elections are supposed to take place means there will be a delay that has the potential to cause political instability and a further weakening of the FGS relations with Puntland and Jubbaland.

Somalia State of Accountability 2019

State of Accountability in 2018: More of the Usual

Executive Summary

The election of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on 8 February 2017 was exciting as Farmaajo seemed to be the friendliest candidate for accountability. However, the President took little interest in governing and ceded much authority to his Prime Minister. The PM, as a veteran in the corruption campaign of the former president, put anticorruption in the backburner. By rhetoric, accountability became the centrepiece of his talking points. However, he extensively used bribery to buy political opponents with funds raised by siphoning off of Banadir Regional Administration funds and bags of money originating from a Gulf country.

When bribery and co-optation did not work against all critics, outright repression and silencing became the tools of choice. Mogadishu was on the brink of collapse multiple times in 2017 and 2018 due to the policies adopted by the PM with the support of the President.

While the PM was busy repressing Mogadishu, the President focused on undermining the federal system after the regional governments failed to fall in line with the government on the Qatar-Gulf crisis. This culminated in the removal of one regional president and no-confidence motions prepared in the other regions. The moves seem to have had the opposite effect, and the federal government is less influential today with the regions than it was when the power play started.

On institution-building, the federal government has done nothing to build the constitutionally-mandated organs of government that are essential to the formation of the Somali state. These include the Constitutional Court, which could have arbitrated between the federal and regional governments; the anticorruption commission, which could have seized stolen property; and the Judicial Service Commission, which must exist in order to reform the judiciary.

The priority of the executive seems to be to have unchecked power. To that end, they have removed the speaker of parliament and installed their own; removed the chairman of the High Court, and installed their own; removed members of the High Court, and installed their loyalists. All three arms of government are currently firmly under control of Villa Somalia.

The executive is further attempting to cement its authority through the constitutional review, which should produce more power to the centre and less for the regions for it to reach their expectation. If that happens, it will only cause more gridlock and further destabilise the Somalia state formation process.

President Farmaajo is not known to have personally benefited from financial misappropriation. However, all his major anticorruption promises have been unfulfilled. He still has an opportunity to leave a shining legacy if he takes the recommended steps towards accountability.

Somalia 2018 Corruption Report




Mogadishu, 24 Feb 2017 — Marqaati, Somalia’s sole anticorruption non-governmental organisation, is concerned by the nomination of Hassan Ali Kheyre as Somalia’s new Prime Minister. The nominated PM is a close associate of tainted individuals in the outgoing administration, including the former president who oversaw a massive corruption campaign in the past year.

He has also been accused of acting as a front for the former president in business deals such as in Soma Oil and Gas, and was intimately involved in the corrupt election campaign of the former president, according to sources in the outgoing administration.

We call on President Farmaajo to withdraw the nomination of Mr. Kheyre if the latter cannot prove his detachment from the corruption of the former administration and a commitment to hold them accountable.

“The Somali parliament should deeply scrutinise his past, his associates, and his plans for combating corruption. They should not accept to become stamps for whatever the president wants; they should use their powers to check his power and demand that people of integrity are appointed to positions of power,” said Mohamed Mubarak, director of marqaati.

“Parliament should reject to approve this individual if he does not prove that he had nothing to do with the corruption perpetrated by his associates and does not publicly commit to hold corrupt individuals accountable,” added Mubarak.

It is unacceptable to have a continuation of the status quo of impunity, stealing public funds, awarding contracts to political cronies, systematic judicial corruption, and unmerited government appointments. We see this nomination as a continuation of the status quo.

marqaati Press Release on PM

State of Accountability in Somalia in 2016: Unrestrained Corruption

Executive Summary

The year 2016 was the worst year for accountability in Somalia as political actors sought to use whatever means possible to win the indirect elections process. Civil servants and members of the Somali Police and NISA have been unpaid for 7 months; while salary payments for most units of the Somali National Army (SNA) were discontinued in late 2015; although, until mid-2016, some units continued receiving stipends that was not paid for by the Somali government. In addition to the non-payment of salaries, the Somali federal government sold off public lands, all with the intention of funding allies and loyalists to the ruling party in the indirect elections.

The elections, as a consequence, were rife with corruption. When delegates refused to take money and vote a certain away, they would be replaced, intimidated, harassed and, in some incidences that occurred in Galmudug and HirShabelle, shot. Adding insult to injury, candidates that had been disqualified for engaging in public corruption or violence by the conflict resolution body were reinstated, and others held sham elections and won.

As a result of the plundering of the state’s wealth in order to fund the election campaign of the president and his allies, security significantly worsened in 2016. Security forces take part in criminality in order to support their livelihood, further eroding public trust in the government. Extortion, robbery, murder, and torture are some of the more than 500 reports marqaati has received, mostly concerning the security forces.

As the election season comes to an end, the year 2017 will see less high-level corruption than 2016, no matter who wins. However, massive mid and low-level corruption will occur especially with the expected increase in food aid as a result of the drought. Officials and security officers that had not been paid for months will be expected to oversee the delivery of food aid. Unless they are paid their dues, even the best of them will take part in the loot.

While 2017 presents an opportunity to tackle corruption in Somalia, as most presidential candidates that have a good chance have said they will combat it, there needs to be more commitment by all stakeholders to demand transparency and closer monitoring of government activities by independent non-government third parties. Somalia’s international donors have a special responsibility to their taxpayers to demand accountability for their misused and embezzled aid monies.

Not keeping the rampant corruption in check will continue to erode public support for the government and lose it the little legitimacy it now has. Inaction will lead to insecurity that will affect not only Somalia, but the whole world, and also lead to mass migration of youth running away from a merciless terrorist group and a kleptocratic government . For the full report in PDF form, click here: Marqaati 2016 Corruption Report


The Indirect Elections: Highly Irregular and Barely Legitimate



The indirect electoral process has been undermined by multiple actors ranging from the federal and regional governments to the individual contenders. Bribery, intimidation, voter list manipulation, and outright fraud have affected the vast majority of cases studied.

Vote buying is not only a civic failure but a huge security loophole: it opens the door to exploits by criminal organisations to infiltrate nefarious individuals into a high profile position.

Dispute resolution mechanisms have largely not worked — and when they work, they have been undercut by political leaders who interfere and overrule their decisions, raising into question the independence and utility of the election organisers.

The process has shown that only universal suffrage can reduce the impact of vote buying in election outcome; however, the current system is still designed for vote buying as the president is not elected by the public but by the members of parliament.

Before general elections are held in 2020, the current constitution should be reviewed prior to ratification and make the president directly electable by the public.


For 11 months this year, marqaati has been signing Integrity Pacts with political actors across Somalia. The Pacts were signed by the following candidates for parliament: 6 from Somaliland; 9 from Galmudug; 20 from Southwest and 20 from Puntland. Additionally, 35 elders and 3 presidential candidates have signed, as have more than 30 political parties.

The Integrity Pacts that were signed by political parties and individual candidates were not respected, partly because the ruling party, PDP, and the president refused to sign it. It was clear that massive corruption would take place since then; marqaati is hereby doing its obligations under the Pact, which is to report on instances of lack of implementation of the Pact and give relevant advise in order to ensure that current issues don’t easily repeat again in 2020.


The findings presented here are based on interviews that were conducted with delegates, key informants within individual campaigns of candidates vying for a seat in parliament, candidates themselves, and questionnaires on the electoral process answered by more than 50 candidates and elders.

Furthermore, we’ve used statistical analysis to look at the relationship between complaints of irregularities and election win margins. While a narrow margin does not necessarily mean no corruption happened, this method helps us in pinpointing the intersection of complaints of fraud and abuse with unbelievably wide margins of victory. We have also used statistical analysis to determine the viability of election results.


The following is an outline of the types and some of the incidences of corruption that had taken place in the electoral process this year.

  1. Intimidation and obstruction was the hallmark of the process

Elders and candidates reported systematic intimidation by security forces of federal and regional states seeking to influence the makeup of the delegates. More than 75% of respondents said that they were expecting or had faced intimidation and voter fraud.

Intimidation of candidates and manipulation of the voters list were most common in Jubbaland, Southwest, and Somaliland (held in Mogadishu). This was apparently because candidates from those regions did not have the most money; for instance, individual voters were paid $500 by some winning candidates from these regions, compared to up to a ridiculous amount of $30,000 per vote in the most expensive election in HirShabelle.

In HirShabelle, some elections were held on a Friday without notifying all candidates except the favoured ones. Additionally, a candidate who had engaged in violence at the voting location was allowed to run over the objections of the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team (FIEIT). He ‘won’ with 88% of the vote.

Some candidates were stopped from entering the voting venues, when their names were put up at the door and stopped from entering by the security forces. This was most common in Jubbaland and Southwest state. Conversely, amounts paid to buy seats in those regions were lower than in other regions.

In Jubbaland, a well-known politician who had lost an election to the upper house was elected to the lower house, after all opposing candidates were forced to withdraw or stopped from attending. He won with 98% of the vote.

  1. Individual candidates were involved in the selection of voters

Elders were required to appoint 50 voters (known as ‘delegates’) from their sub-clan to elect each MP; however, in almost all cases closely investigated, elders were selling the delegates to candidates vying for the seat.  In some instances, candidates bought the right to appoint a simple majority from the elders, and in other cases they bought all 50 delegates.

For instance, in one race in Puntland, an elder sold 16 slots to a candidate. The candidate went on to buy 10 other votes from the rest of the delegates and won with a simple majority of 26/51.

Some candidates were running against dummy candidates who were also paid for by them and who got between 7 and 0 votes.  The candidates who were doing this were ones who controlled a vast majority of the delegates, as explained above.

Regional governments were openly manipulating the lists of voters. For instance, one elder from Galmudug sent multiple complaints to marqaati of the delegates that he had submitted being switched with other names by the regional election commission; his complaints to the regional disputes resolution body were ignored.

  1. Bribery was very common and normalised

Bribe amounts were highest in HirShabelle where the most expensive seat was at $2.5M, followed by Galmudug and Puntland (seat cost is the sum of all bribes paid by both winning and losing candidates for one seat).

A winning candidate from HirShabelle told marqaati that he had paid $260K ($150K of his own money and $110K in borrowed money) as bribes in order to, ironically, ‘not humiliate’ himself by losing. He won with 86% of the vote. Losing candidates paid between $150K and $100K, making that seat worth $510K in bribes.

In Galmudug and Puntland, the same trend was noticed, with many seats costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Asked by marqaati why they would pay upwards of $300K for a seat in parliament, one political operative said it was to do with prestige, immunity, and obviously the chance to elect the next president and probably recoup spent money.

Voters seemed willing to vote for whoever gave them a dollar more than the other; in all cases where money is known to have changed hands, the party with the most money won. It is not clear whether this will be the case with MPs voting for president, but two recently-elected MPs said that they’d take money from everyone and vote for whoever they wanted.

Many candidates seeking a seat in parliament were bankrolled by the ruling party, PDP (also known as ‘Dam Jadeed’), which had refused to sign the Integrity Pacts. The aforementioned candidate who was forced to add $260K of his own money into his bribing campaign said that the president himself had assured him that he would be bankrolled but that he hadn’t received back his money as of the publishing of this report.

While state funds have been diverted in the past 18 months in preparation for the 2016 elections, as evidenced by security forces rarely receiving salaries in that time period and government property blindly privatised, the ruling party did not win many seats, suggesting that it has spent less money than its opponents (apparently saving most money for the presidential election).

Other MPs who had self-funded said that they are expecting to recoup their ‘investment’ in the upcoming presidential elections. Cost per vote, it will probably be the most expensive election in the world.

  1. Winning margins were incredibly high in races involving allegations of corruption

The following is a sample list of election results, showing an alarming number of candidates receiving more than 80%, and many 100% of the votes – a statistical impossibility in a free and fair election. Statistically, most races should have been won by a simple majority to two thirds majority, with very rare cases of 80 per cent and more.

Of 98 election results analysed, we have detected 89 elections in which the winners received 78.4% or above, including 58 that got between 84% and 98%; two were no contest (all opposing candidates suspiciously stepped down at the last moment); and 15 got 100% of the votes.

This suggests that over 76% of the candidates received unbelievably wide margins of victory between 84% and 100%.

While the below list is neither an exhaustive list of highly improbable natural results (it is a random sample that includes even plausible margins) nor an allegation that all are results of corruption. Our calculation is that 1% of results with a margin of more than 78% could be a natural outcome:



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Abdiqadir Ossoble 34 66.6666667 Lower
Maxamed Abukar Islow (Ducaale) 48 94.1176471 Lower
C/salaan Sheekh Xasan Barsane 29 56.8627451 Lower
Cusmaan Maxamed Cabdi 50 98.0392157 Lower
C/laahi maxamed nuur 28 54.9019608 Lower
Maryan ahmed haruun 38 74.5098039 Lower
Maxamud c/laahi Ahmed 38 74.5098039 Lower
farxiyo maxamuud dhaqane 43 84.3137255 Lower
Maxaedm c/laahi nuux 45 88.2352941 Lower
Muuse Suudi Yalaxow 91 92.8571429 Upper
Prof Cusmaan Maxamuud Dufle 85 86.7346939 Upper
Cusmaan Axmed Macow 73 74.4897959 Upper
Cusmaan Maxamed Cabdi 50 98.0392157 Lower
Maxamed cali nuur 45 88.2352941 Lower
C/shakuur cali mire 49 96.0784314 Lower
farxiyo maxamuud dhaqane 43 84.3137255 Lower
Maxaedm c/laahi nuux 45 88.2352941 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
C/qaadir Gaafow Maxamuud 51 100 Lower
Yuusuf xeyle 48 94.11764706 Lower
Naciimo maxamed cali 45 88.23529412 Lower
Saciid Nuur Qayliye Giriish 50 98.03921569 Lower
Saabir Nuur Shuuriye 45 88.23529412 Lower
Mahad Maxamed Salaad 40 78.43137255 Lower
Qaasim Maxamed Jaamac 51 100 Lower
 Duniyo Maxamed Ali 44 86.2745098 Lower
mustaf sheekh cali dhuxulow 47 92.15686275 Lower
Xuseen Qaasim Yuusuf 49 96.07843137 Lower
 Xasan Macalin Maxamud 48 94.11764706 Lower
mustaf sheekh cali dhuxulow 47 92.15686275 Lower
Cabdulaahi Cali Axmed 40 78.43137255 Lower
 Maxamed Cabdule Faarax 40 78.43137255 Lower
Xersi Aadan Rooble 49 96.07843137 Lower
cabdiraxmaan maxamed xuseen 46 90.19607843 Lower
Maryan Cariif Qaasim 45 88.23529412 Lower
 Cabdiwali Maxamed Qanyare 49 96.07843137 Lower
Cabdicasiis Cilmi Cali 41 80.39215686 Lower
 Ikraan Aadan 43 84.31372549 Lower
Axmed Macalin Fiqi Axmed 47 92.15686275 Lower
Maryam Xaaji Cabdi Geedi 48 94.11764706 Lower
Maryam Maxamed Xuseen 48 94.11764706 Lower
maxamed axemd abtidoon 41 80.39215686 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Cali yuusuf cali xoosh 49 96.07843137 Lower
Cumar Cabdirashiid Cali sharmaarke 47 71.21212121 Upper
Cabdiraxmaan Sheekh Maxamed Maxamud Farole 59 89.39393939 Upper
Cabdisalaam Xaaji Maxamuud Dheere 50 75.75757576 Upper
Maxamud Axmed Maxamud Mashruuc 56 84.84848485 Upper
Siciido Xasan Cismaan 41 62.12121212 Upper
Maxamed Cabdikaafi Maxamed 45 88.23529412 Lower
Xaawo Yuusuf Axmed 40 78.43137255 Lower
Sharmaake Garaad Saleeman 50 98.03921569 Lower
Sacdiya Samatar 49 96.07843137 Lower
Maxamed Xaaji Geele 49 96.07843137 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
maxamed shiid cusmaan jawaari 45 88.2352941 Lower
c/laahi shiiq ismaaciil 51 100 Lower
maxamed saciid Abdulaahi 40 78.4313725 Lower
C/laahi cumar Abshir 51 100 Lower
shiiq Aadan maxamed Nuur 49 96.0784314 Lower
sayid cali c/qaadir macalin 49 96.0784314 Lower
maxamed jaamac mursal geelle 45 88.2352941 Lower
Maxamed axmed mursal qoomaal 51 100 Lower
Aaadan ibraahim ibraahim dhaa yoow 51 100 Lower
Cali Aadan eylow 51 100 Lower
Shiiq shaacir axmed 51 100 Lower
Ibraahim yaroow isaaq 51 100 Lower
Raabaca sheekh nuuroow 51 100 Lower
Fowsiyo maxamed sheekh 51 100 Lower
cabduqaadir shariif xasan sheekh Aadan 50 98.0392157 Lower
Shariif maxamed cabdulaahi 45 88.2352941 Lower
Samra cumar ibraahim 45 88.2352941 Lower
Cabdi casis lafta gareen 45 88.2352941 Lower
Khaliif Duureey 45 88.2352941 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Mahad Cabdalla cawad 50 98.0392157 Lower
Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye 51 100 Lower
Aamino Axmed 51 100 Lower
Cilmi Maxamed Nuur 45 88.2352941 Lower
Nimco Aadan Ciise No Contest Lower
Saalax Axmed Jaamac No Contest Lower
Sahro Cabdqadir Cabdinasir 48 94.1176471 Lower
Jamal Xasan Ismaciil 50 98.0392157 Lower
Faadumo Cali 49 96.0784314 Lower
Cabdulahi Cusmaan Ducaale 45 88.2352941 Lower




Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Cabdulahi Maxamed Adan 44 86.2745098 Lower
Cabdiraxmaan Kulmiye Xirsi 48 94.1176471 Lower
Cabdiqaadir Sheekh Cali Ibraahim 50 98.0392157 Lower
Axmed Cismaan Ibraahim 49 96.0784314 Lower
Maxamed Cabdulahi Gaandi 50 98.0392157 Lower
Sheekh Nuur Maxamed Xasan 51 100 Lower
Cabdiqaadir Sheekh Cali 50 98.0392157 Lower
Axmed Cusmaan Ibraahim 49 96.0784314 Lower
Cabdiraxmaan Kulmiye Xirsi 48 94.1176471 Lower
Adan Isaaq 40 78.4313725 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
 Fahmo Axmed Nuur 51 100 Lower



  • Cases voided by the disputes body should not be allowed to be certified. That will make the process less legitimate than it already is.
  • Preparations for 2020 elections should start now. marqaati will start its advocacy towards a free and fair general election the moment this process ends. Otherwise, talk of elections will be delayed until a time when leaders can say ‘there isn’t enough time’ to organise a general election as happened last year.
  • The parliamentary system will ensure that corruption will become a culture in Somali politics and that presidential hopefuls will continue to buy the members of parliament. marqaati proposes that the Somali constitution be amended prior to its ratification and ensure that the public can directly vote for all their political leaders.
  • Somali CSOs should be courageous and participate in the monitoring and critique of the elections. Silence equals acquiescence.
  • Spoilers and political leaders continuing to obstruct the little accountability that has taken place should be sanctioned by the international community.


Political failures at multiple levels have compounded to delay and undermine the indirect election process. In order to regain a semblance of legitimacy, there should be accountability for the abuses that have occurred.