President Farmaajo’s road to perdition

By Dr. Mohamed Hassan Tifow

FREE ELECTIONS

Free and fair elections at regular intervals that allow people to vote expressing an opinion and even opting for the political competition is a requirement for democratic governance. These requirements include the need for civil and political rights such as the right to be elected, the right to freedom of expression, the right of access to information, the right of public access, the right to freedom of association.

The state serves and provides these civil and political rights, as well as economic and social rights. Only a government elected in a referendum can deal with efficient, fair, transparent means and conduct democratic governance. Also, especially everyone who exercises public authority is bound by accountability and subject to some disclosure that may allow oversight possible.

To stay loyal to the democratic process that brought him to the power or keeping the presidency regardless of himself without democratic process dithering the choice of the president Farmaajo.

A dictatorship is a form of government in which all power is in the hands of one person or one group of people. In the vast majority of cases, a dictatorship comes to pass position after use of force or threat of violence. A dictatorship is the opposite of democracy. There are no free, fair and secret elections. In a democracy, those who run the country elected through free and fair elections. That elections take place regularly. In a dictatorship, this is not so. Sometimes a dictator can come after free elections at the power, but then quickly abolishes democracy.

Farmajo comes through an election and now wants to dodge voting unless it is guaranteed his return to power. And if the vote should take place, he wants to invent one that is not fair, transparent and without agreed-upon by all concerned shareholders.

The competition procedure is necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the realisation of democratic ideals. Because with the installation of this procedure, the models are simultaneously structurally challenged. In this sense, democracy is what people make of it in this context. It means that one should be aware of the open-ended possibility that actual democracy development can go in a different direction. It may mean less freedom direction or that even undemocratic forces are gaining the majority. The formulation of traditional or progressive goals and the discussion of inheriting realism can be understood as an aspect of the democratisation struggle. One can define democracy as one likes, but each definition will be just one of several competing interpretations.

The Farmaajo’s actions briefly explain the history of the 21 years under the one-person rule of Barre’s regime, as historical experiences that cannot separate from contemporary circumstances. Just think the military government, in which power over the country was in the hands of Barre and his family.

CLAN POLITICS

A persistent problem in our clan-based societies is that different clan groups find it challenging to work together. Because members of the same group are often unconditionally loyal to each other, favouritism is common. In elections, Somalis usually do not vote for the one with the best party program, but for someone from their clan group or one that pays for their vote through a bribe. After all, it is less likely to harm them. The underlying idea is to take good care of one’s group, which is the duty of every Somali (except Hawiye elite who sell their people out for a position and never care about their people’s welfare). As a result, the candidate of the largest ethnic group almost always wins, resulting in the side-lining of members of smaller ethnic groups. The dissatisfaction with this brought forth the president and prime minister who hails from smaller clans.

Clan groups are not all that different from Western political parties. Clan groups also elect their leaders, who strive for the welfare of their supporters. Then, as in Western parliamentary systems, they should forge coalitions with competing ethnic groups, for instance, Abgaals with Majeerteens or Mareehaan with Murusade just to give an example.

If you follow the reports about Somalia, you might get the impression that clan groups only fight each other. Nothing is less accurate. Clan societies also form coalitions. Different ethnic groups that were previously hostile to each other will join forces if they expect positive results. By working together, on the other hand, small clan groups can force large groups to make concessions if they unite for their common interest.

No one has described this process of “fission and fusion” as well as the British anthropologist Edward Evans Pritchard, who spent many years conducting field research in Libya and Sudan in the first half of the last century. Faced with opposition from cooperating small groups, large ethnic groups appear forced to behave more democratically. If violence breaks out, they realise, they may be defeated. Then they lose their position of power altogether.

INDEPENDENT JURISPRUDENCE AND ABUSE OF POWER

Every public participation must be free from intimidation by state and non-state actors. Independent, impartial and efficient judicial institutions are the safeguards of a rule of law on which a democracy based and ensuring access of the law should be guaranteed. It is necessary to develop conditions for an actual exercise of rights, such as equality and transparency. Obstacles as ignorance, bigotry, apathy, lack of choices and alternatives and lack of measures to remedy injustice or to distinguish between social, cultural, should be eradicated. This right to justice must fully realise, however, Farmaajo intends to have a pseudo-democracy, in which that there are indeed elections, but a false competition between selected parties, for example by fabricating non-existence voters or election results. Hence, the other parties chance to come to power honestly weakened if not eliminated. Also, obstructing peoples choices and arresting without due process political opponents and their supporters become routine occurrences, especially active opponents of the administration must pay for it. They are arrested, imprisoned or murdered sometimes. Violence and assassinations are the order of the day, especially in Mogadishu. Also during the election of southwestern state, the Jubba-land state and the Galmudug state opponents were intimidated, arrested and killings took place. President, when in power do not rule according to the law; instead, his rule-based on arbitrariness. The population has none legal certainty. In power, he does whatever he deems necessary to keep his power. To realise for full control of justice department, Farmaajo administration put the head justice in the hand of unqualified successionist Somalilander who’s at the service of for his boss and is not independent. The administration is coming up a way to oppress the population without proper legislation authorising the subjugating of those they deem enemy sounds familiar.

MEDIA CENSORSHIP

No one needs prior permission to reveal thoughts or feelings through the printing press or otherwise, except for everyone’s responsibility under the law. However,  under Farmaajo’s administration freedom of the press is curtailed in many subtle and less subtle ways. Less subtle ways of suppressing freedom of the media include mistreatment, kidnapping, threats or even murders of journalists or editors who write or want to write unwelcome articles. There is censorship. Newspaper, radio and television (especially national tv and radio) usually proclaim only the views of the administration. Remember the opening of the seventh session of the federal parliament where all independent press refused to broadcast live the opening ceremony. President Farmaajo doesn’t like the public to see disapproved by the parliamentarians, especially on his government’s policies when broadcasted live on the media. The only media allowed to broadcast was National TV controlled improperly by his administration. The national TV cut off live broadcasting when MP’s unimpressed by the self-absorbed speech interrupted the president’s speaking.

CORRUPTION

There is a lot of corruption Money circulating; favours are necessary lubricants for getting something done, both for the population and the Farmajo himself. He has built up vast resources. Income from the state passed directly to the bank accounts of himself, his family and friends. Wrongful use of taxpayers money to silence any opposition against his administration from the two chambers through organising motions against them. To give an example, the chairman of the upper champers when he announced a plan to arrange a meeting between the president and heads of member states. The president didn’t like the idea and started a campaign against the chairman Abdi Hashi. His intention is ether to eliminate the chairman or intimidate him into changing course.

CULT OF PERSONALITY

Like many many dictatorships president Farmaajo have a custom of liking being a nationalist, revivalist of proud Somaliness feeling. As such a great person that must be admired and loved. Huge portraits or statues of himself are all the time on the streets to find. Big gatherings organised to cheer president; this adds cheerfulness to his face so that he can claim and say “people love me”. Like other dictators, Farmaajo is satisfied with countless praise in the newspaper or on television. President Farmajo likes all of this and slightest critique makes him angry and start fuming abuse towards those criticising. Of course, a dictatorship cannot alone exist through violence and oppression. A dictatorial regime cannot do without a power base. There are always groups in society that support Farmajo because they benefit from him or because they fear him.

For example, those he helped put in charge of some member states through bribes and violence. Specific individuals paid to sing his praise in the media, including the social media or individual members of his clan. The secret service and the military also play an essential role in maintaining his cult of personality and ensure that opponents of the regime gagged. 

AUTOCRATIC

Even though elected democratically president Farmaajo is displaying autocratic behaviour. In an autocracy (supremacy), all power is in the hands of one person. He’s the one for it says. He is exercising power, not limited by rule. Display of autocracy rule is what happened on Thursday evening (11/06/20) when contrary to prime minister wish a scheduled regular Thursday cabinet meeting cancelled on orders from the president without showing any consideration to the authority of the prime minister. The reasons for withdrew of cabined meting and over-ruling his prime minister not given. The president is the law, so it seems. But a solitary ruler also has group confidants helping him stay in power. That group usually exists from friends (foreign and domestic) or relatives of the president.

Our president also has a very striking and particularly expensive lifestyle; hair implant. He used money from the treasury for this as he could afford hair implant only after becoming the president.

We have already seen that free election in which President Farmaajo won, was fair and secret elections which are an essential difference between democracies and dictatorships. Still, Farmaajo’s governments want votes only if they are not open, honest and secret. Why then those elections? There are three reasons for Farmaajo’s wish to do this way as dictator to be. The first reason is elections are an excellent propaganda tool to do right as if there is democracy. The second reason is elections can lead to division within the group of opponents of the regime. We do or do we do not join? The third reason is the government can thus gain some insight into who loyal is to its administration and who is not.  So the elections are not about one democratic building structure, but to extend the life of the dictatorial bend regime. Manipulation and fraud are keywords in elections in authoritarian systems. The reason why so far, no election procedure stated and date announced.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

People transmit information through their behaviour, mainly through body languages, such as gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, body posture, voice volume and intonation.

Non-verbal communication has much more useful than verbal communication. If the non-verbal communication is not in accordance (not congruent) with the content of the message, confusion arises; what does that mean now? Such communication benefits from the corresponding word.

Behaviour always elicits a response. The response can be the same type of action (symmetrical) or opposite (complimentary) who knows that once, can hardly ever say “it is the other person that the conversation is not going.” Seldom, because in the field of personality disorders, there are people who are stuck in a specific behaviour. Think of psychopaths and people with a phobia. Of course, I’m not suggesting that president Farmaajo is a psychopath; however, he might have some sort of phobias towards some groups. President Farmaajo has lost the presidency right after winning. Due to his nationalistic, populistic speech during his campaign and his contradicting attributes after wining. He was wrong claiming anti-Ethiopians sentiment during the campaign while in office declaring his brotherly love to Ethiopia. He was wrong in assigning ONLF as a terrorist organisation. He is now on the wrong side on our history and of the public opinion. Never is in our history a Somali national (and especially officer who participated in 77 war with Ethiopia) is extradited to a foreign country let alone our centries old enemy, namely Ethiopia.

These are all facts and not a standard technique to criticise the president.

Now he is trying in following the military dictator before him to dismantle our democracy through his solo action showing complete disrespect and ignoring other member states leaders, parliament and other government institutions.

Symmetrical behaviour is when the interlocutors take equal positions to the left or right of the vertical axis; in other words, conduct that provokes the same behavioural style in others. Symmetric relationships carry within self the risk of escalation. Together behaviour calls for “who does good, meets well.”

In Somalia, the cause of war is rarely clear, but the consequences are usually horrifying on a large scale. Rival clan militias can murder and plunder in endless conflicts on many fronts; the unprotected people of Mogadishu are already the victims of an upcoming bloody struggle that president wants to provoke. Farmaajo leadership cause economic and social chaos that deprives the Somali people of their hopes for a humane future and cause immense suffering. One may also wonder where the responsibility is of former presidents who introduced Farmaajo to the people and passed power to him. Its time to ask the president to kindly vacate the presidency as you lack leadership quality and failed miserably in all of your promises, We can’t afford any more fooling the masses as happened during your election campaign. We have seen how it has caused nothing but suffering in my parts of the country and especially Mogadishu, where a complete lockdown cause immense economic and social suffering.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan Tifow can be reached at mxtifow@yahoo.co.uk 

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