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:
- 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.
|Constituency||Winner||Winning Votes||Winning %||Type of vote|
|Puntland||Cabdiraxmaan Maxamed Maxamuud||54||81.8182||Secret|
|Puntland||Maxamed Cali Yusuf “gaagaab”||65||98.4848||Open vote|
|Puntland||Maxamed Cabdi Cusmaan Majiino||65||98.4848||Secret|
|Puntland||Cabdullaahi Cali Xirsi Tima-cadde||65||98.4848||Open vote|
|Puntland||Cabdisamad Yuusuf Maxamed||64||96.9697||Secret|
|Puntland||Daahir Ayaanle Siciid||64||96.9697||Open vote|
|Puntland||Farxaan Cali xuseen||65||98.4848||Secret|
|Puntland||Zaynab ismail Mohamed||65||98.4848||Secret|
|Puntland||Cabdiqani Geelle Maxamed||52||78.7879||Secret|
|Puntland||Samiiro Maxamuud Xaaji Cawad||65||98.4848||Open vote|
|Puntland||Sareedo Maxamed Xasan 64||64||96.9697||Open vote|
|SWS||Zamzam Ibraahim Cali||81||85.2632||Secret|
|SWS||Ayaan Aadan Cabdullaahi||79||83.1579||Secret|
|SWS||Aadan Cabdinasir Maxamed||80||84.2105||Secret|
|SWS||Dr. Xuseen Maxamed Daahir||71||74.7368||Secret|
|SWS||Maxamuud Maxamed Cabdinuur||76||80||Secret|
|SWS||Xasan Xuseen Xaaji||74||77.8947||Secret|
|SWS||Cali Sheekh Maxamuud Gacal||68||71.5789||Secret|
|SWS||Cabdiwali Maxamed Ibraahim (Xaabsade)||68||71.5789||Secret|
|Somaliland||Cabdi Xaashi Cabdullaahi||44||95.6522||Open vote|
|Somaliland||Saalax Axmed Jaamac (Wasiirka dastuurka Soomaaliya)||29||63.0435||Secret|
|Somaliland||Prof. Cabdi Ismaaciil Samatar||25||54.3478||Secret|
|Somaliland||Cismaan Abuukar Dubbe||28||60.8696||Secret|
|Somaliland||Layla Axmed Ismaaciil||39||84.7826||Open vote|
|Somaliland||Bilaal Idiris Cabdullaahi||38||82.6087||Secret|
|Somaliland||Saciid Cabdi Xuseen||42||91.3043||Open vote|
|Somaliland||Naciimo Xasan Xaaji||30||65.2174||Secret|
|Somaliland||Axmed Maxamed Saciid||43||93.4783||Open vote|
|Somaliland||Axmed Ibraahin Maxamed “Qorane”||44||95.6522||Open vote|
|Somaliland||Deeqo Xasan Xuseen||56||100||Open vote|
|Jubaland||Ilyaas Badal Gaboose||55||75.3425||Secret|
|Jubaland||Cabdullaahi Sh. Ismaaciil “Fartaag”||71||97.2603||Open vote|
|Jubaland||Cabdirisaaq Maxamed Cusmaan||59||80.8219||Secret|
|Jubaland||Iftin Xasan Iman “Baasto”||72||100||Open vote|
|Jubaland||Xasan Daahir Yarow||59||80.8219||Secret|
|Jubaland||Ibraahim Awgaab Cismaan||57||78.0822||Secret|
|Jubaland||Layla Nuur Maax||63||86.3014||Secret|
|Jubaland||Maryan Faarax Kadiye||50||68.4932||Secret|
|Galmudug||Siciid Siyaad Shirwac||87||97.7528||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Yuusuf Geelle Ugaas||87||97.7528||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Cabdi Axmed Dhuxulow||86||96.6292||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Samsam Daahir Maxamuud||89||100||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Cabdixakiin Macallin Axmed||86||96.6292||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Duniyo Maxamed Cali||88||98.8764||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Cabdi Xasan Cawaale||83||93.2584||Open vote|
|Galmudug||Cabdi Cismaan Xareed||83||93.2584||Open vote|
|Hirshabeelle||Muuse Suudi Yalaxow||55||55.5556||Secret|
|Hirshabeelle||Nuur Maxamed Geedi “Canjeex”||70||70.7071||Secret|
|Hirshabeelle||Fartuun C/qaadir Faarax Karaama||83||83.8384||Open vote|
|Hirshabeelle||Cali Shacbaan Ibrahim||62||62.6263||Secret|
|Hirshabeelle||Xasan Iidoow Muxumed||69||69.697||Secret|
|Hirshabeelle||Dr Cusmaan Maxamuud Dufle )||68||68.6869||Secret|
|Hirshabeelle||Axmed Maxamed Cali “Af-cadey”||52||52.5253||Secret|
|Constituency||Winner||Winning votes||Winning margin|
|HOP067||Yaasiin Cabdullahi Maxamuud (Farey)||68||67.33|
|HOP103||Maxamed Cali Xasan – Under Investigation||78||77.23|
|HOP104||Mahad Cabdalle Cawad||84||83.17|
|Hop272||Maxamuud Cabdiraxmaan Cumar||65||64.36|
|HOP26||Yuusuf Geelle Ugaas||82||81.19|
|HOP225||Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye||96||95.05|
|HOP202||Aamino Cumar Jaamac||101||100|
|HOP210||Faadumo Xasan Cali||91||90.1|
|HOP208||Maxamed Haaruun Cabdullaahi||99||98.02|
|HOP233||Axmed Cismaan Diiriye||65||64.36|
|HOP239||Mahdi Maxamed Guuleed||97||96.04|
|HOP237||Biixi Iimaan Cige||91||90.1|
|HOP182||Maxamed Mursal Sheekh Cabdiraxmaan||88||87.13|
|HOP170||Aadan Maxamed Nuur Saransoor||82||81.19|
|HOP171||Fowsiya Maxamed Sheekh||84||83.17|
|HOP054||Cabdishakuur Cali Mire||85||84.16|
|HOP043||Xuseen Yuusuf Qaasim||81||80.2|
|HOP189||Aadan Maxamed Nuur||63||62.38|
|HOP042||Cabdicaziz Xaaji Cabdi||80||79.21|
|HOP213||Amino Maxamed Mursal||79||78.22|
|HOP180||Sadaat Maxamed Nuur||87||86.14|
|HOP154||Sareedo Maxamed Cabdalla- Under Investigation||89||88.12|
|HOP193||Cabdullahi Aadan Axmed||66||65.35|
|HOP041||Nuura Mustafa Muqtaar||83||82.18|