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Federalism is the only the political system best suited for Somali

The issue of federalism has been hotly debated in Somalia for the past decade. When Somalia gained independence in 1960, the country embarked on a democratic path with eight regions governed by civilians. Under the dictatorship of the late General Mohamed Siad Bare for 21 years (1969-1991), Somalia y was split into 18 regions. The collapse of the dictatorship in 1991 was followed by years of civil strife.

Somalia is recovering from prolonged period of civil war and emerged out of it with a clan-based power sharing system and Federalism system is the only system that establishes trust between Somali people regardless the origin. The chaos, the civil wars, the conflicts, the mistrust that existed between Somali people over a quarter century has generated the need to form federalism system in Somalia and as a result, Somali people do not need strong central government that imposed many aspects of citizens’ lives and controls the economy. The provisional constitution that was endorsed by a constituent assembly in August 2012 stipulates that two or more regions can unite and form a state.

Federalism is the sole system that develops collective peace, security and economy prosperity to Somali people and only system that establishes trust between Somali people regardless the origin. It is form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided usually by means of a constitution between a central authority and a number of constituent states. Each regional government retains the management of their internal affairs that possibly differs from the central government.

Somalia’s transformation into an independent state was peaceful in the beginning, but later, the country has experienced excessive amounts of political instability. The period 1991-1992 was marked by the most intense conflict, when the different clan factions fought for control of land and resources in southern Somalia. It is a system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central government and regional governments. It is a system that compromise between the central government and the regional government. The power rests in the body of citizens; the power is retained by the people. Federalism has the asset of retaining local pride, traditions and power, while allowing a central government to handle the common problems. It is power sharing agreement between central government and the regional government.

Federal, sovereign and democratic is Somalia defining characteristics, according to Article 1 of the 2012 provisional constitution. Article 54 states of Somali constitution states the allocation of powers and resources shall be negotiated and agreed upon by the Federal Government and the Federal Member States” pending their creation, except in the areas of foreign affairs, national defence, citizenship and immigration, and monetary policy, which are all under the purview of the central government, based in the capital, Mogadishu.

Federalism is form of government system that allows different federal states to live together in harmony. It is a system whereby a resource is shared by central government and federal states. It is a system whereby central government and federal states exist on two separate levels. It is a system whereby power delegated to the bottom of society and Somali constitution safeguards Somali federalism.

Those that describe Somali federalism as foreign initiative are those that prefers strong central that retain all sort of power in their hands in Mogadishu are not realistic. Federalism breaks up power among the regional governments and consequently reduced the concentration of power on central hands as result federalism is the best form administration that we can implement Somalia at present. Federalism has been widely employed in order to satisfy and accommodate the interests of different groups and to enhance co-existence among various groups of people. Federalism increases the probability of democratic survival, enhances the political stability through peaceful participation and renders the desired outcome to the societies that they promote and exist within. Federalism is the mixed mode of government that combines the central ‘federal’ government with regional governments in a single political system.

A federal system helps manage social and political conflict. It broadly disperses political power within and among governments, enabling national, as well as regional and local, concerns to reach the central government. Federalism promotes administrative efficiency. The wide variety of services demanded by citizens is delivered more efficiently without large central bureaucracy. From public elementary education to garbage collection, the government closest to the problem seems to work best in adapting public programs to local needs. Federalism promotes administrative efficiency.

In federalism, an extensive selection of services demanded by citizens is delivered more efficiently. A federal system maximizes political participation in government. Citizens have opportunities to participate at all three levels of government through elections, public hearings, and other means. Somalis agree that it is a time for Somalia to embrace a constitutional, democratic, and federal based government. Federal system is the means of dividing power and function of government between central government and specific number of geographically defined regional governments.

Federalism is the only the political system best suited for Somalia. Somali Constitution adopted on August 1, 2012 configures Somalia as federal state. Article one of the constitution unequivocally states that “Somalia is a federal, sovereign, and democratic republic founded on inclusive representation of the people and a multiparty system and social justice. Federal System is very import to overcome long-standing civil war and inter clan conflict. Federalism is the alternative to the 26 years of chaos and crises in Somalia. Federal system leads to peace and stability for Somalia. It is a Formation of honest and reliable justice system for the country is a major solution for the problems associated with federalism. Due to long years of over-centralized government structures and control, people in many parts of Somalia demands federal system in Somalia.

During the years of conflict, some stability was maintained in specific regions by their local communities, and they believe they have demonstrated their ability to manage their affairs at a regional level while remaining loyal and responsible citizens of Somalia. Federalism is the only way to get the country out of the political mess. Somali constitution promotes voluntary federalism of regions. Respect of human rights, political and civil rights for all citizens, free market economic system, political pluralism, and promotion of peace constitute the basic foundation of the new constitution. Puntland existed prior to the formation of the federal government in 2012. Puntland state declared itself autonomous in August 1998 when politicians in the north-eastern regions of Somalia opted for that.

Puntland has labelled itself a ‘semi-autonomous’, a crucial distinction which signifies its leaders are waiting until a federal republic is formed by Somalia so that they can join in. Federalism is an indispensable political institution in Somalia. Federal system is strengthening Somalia gradually. UAE Federalism is the most flourishing federal system as seven emirates ruled by different Sheikhs and populated by distinct or distantly related clans joined to form a modern country that shares essential affairs like defence, foreign affairs and monetary policy. Every Emirate has its own police force and maintains its local government. Every emirate owns its own resources.

Necessary to a sustainable process of institution building will be the emergence of a definition of federalism that captures the aspirations and concerns of the people in various regions of Somalia, who have different experiences of access and marginalization more than two decades of political instability, as well as under the pre-1991 state. Federalism n accommodates with the political realities as they exist, in terms of both the emerging regional states and the existing administrations. Puntland is the only existing federal state with a functioning administration and territorial control.

The provisional constitution that was endorsed by a constituent assembly in August 2012 stipulates that two or more regions can unite and form a state. The Somali constitution allows the creation of federal member states For example; only two or more Somali regions uniting can form a Federal Member State. In view of above, federalism is the only means to establish Somali state-building process beyond the Somali capital of Mogadishu down to regional governments Puntland, Jubaland, South West State, Galmudug and Hirshabelle. Federalism promotes positive political stability in general and in democracies. The bottom line is, Somalia is at a turning point in its modern history.

Ismail Lugweyne

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