11/16/12-(Jubastate)- The governance plan of Damul Jadid in Somalia Since the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmud, it has become evident that
President Mahmud has evolved to be an Executive President. The President and his Damul Jadid (New Blood- a splinter group from Al Islah) team are worried about the power bestowed upon the Prime Minister in the constitution.
As a consequence the President and his team have taken steps to ensure that they and only they are in full control. These steps include;
The appointment of a ‘Yes man’ Prime Minister to ensure that the President acts as the executive authority in the land.
The President and his team fixed the number, structure and members of the Cabinet. Close sources to the Prime Minister were quoted as saying ‘it is a complete dictation to the Prime Minister.’ The team around the PM feel powerless to face these organised moves from the President’s team. It is questionable whether the country has a Prime Minister at all? The entire Cabinet will be made up of members of Damul Jadid and their associates handpicked and approved by Damuljadid Shura Council. Contrary to the claims, the selection procedure is not based on qualification or experience, experience on Somalia or representation of regions. Apparently, it is rather based onTAZKIYAH selection procedure (a common procedure used by organised religious groups based on recommendations and solid references by members of the inner circle.)
The Proposed Minister of Foreign Affairs is Fowziya Yuusuf Sheikh Aadan, a controversial figure that could present a destabilising factor in Somalia. Ms Aadan is a diehard Somaliland secessionist and it is inconceivable she is now entrusted with Somalia Foreign Policy. This could damage the talks between Somaliland administration and the Somali Federal Government. Ms Aadan is strongly opposed by members of the Somali parliament including her own Dir Clan.
All these steps are not oversights or mistakes by the President and Damul Jadid team, but rather a deeply thought-out strategic plan by Damul Jadid that has taken over the Presidency. The plan includes a fundamental change in the constitution to make the President an Executive President. Sources close to the Presidency confirm that many changes in the governance of Somalia are either on the President’s table or are already actively underway. These include;The President has taken a complete control of the management of the public finances.
The President has even gone further and prepared and submitted the Budget to the Parliament which is completely unconstitutional. It is a political precedent that has never occurred in the history of Somali republic including during dictatorship years. We have solid sources that the Prime Minister is not being allowed to know or have a contribution about how the finances of the nation are being managed.
The President has established a taskforce to conduct a comprehensive government review. The work is being carried out by Damul Jadid team and SIMAD University. This taskforce were given the responsibility of reviewing the structures as well as the people inside the government and propose major changes. The structure of the Cabinet is based on their report and it is expected that sweeping changes will take place within government employees particularly the security sector.
The President also established several other taskforces with specific sectoral responsibilities in the ports, airports, foreign companies, international relations and others and the Prime Minister and his team are entirely in the dark about all these works. It is worth mentioning that several high-level delegations from
important countries have arrived in Mogadishu and only met the President and did not have interaction with the Prime Minister. Based on different Damul Jadid taskforce(s) reports, the President is now planning a root and branch changes to the structure of Somali Government. The overarching aim is to deepen the control of power of Damul Jadid in Somalia. The plan is to establish powerful Parastatal Agencies and commissions under the Presidency headed by Damul Jadid cadre of leadership.
These include and not limited to The Revenue Authority The Port Authority, Airports and Civil Aviation Authority, International Aid Coordination, somali Trade Authority, But the most serious plan of Damul Jadid is all proceeding steps are trials to test the political environment of Somalia but the real aim, according to our sources, is to overhaul and make major changes to the Somali constitution. It is an unknown territory to the Somali body politic, where a small group takes to command such a power to exclusively shape the future of Somalia. No doubt these present considerable risks where the power of the nation is concentrated in the hands of the few.
Members of the Somali Parliament are fiercely debating the need to send a clear signal to the President and Damul Jadid group that they cannot alone take over the entire powers of the nation without regard to the constitution. The Parliament is on the view that the President and his group should respect the constitution and the country needs an empowered Prime Minister and the Cabinet based on the Constitution.
This can happen if the Parliament rejects the upcoming government which the President and Damul Jadid want to test the country with in order to achieve their plan of concentrating the power of the country into their hands. This reminds us of Ala Sheikh Group who controlled the Presidential Palace during Sheikh Sharif’s rein.
The difference is that this President and this group have much more grander ambitions. The grim reality of another wasted four years looks in the offing. The rejection of the expected Cabinet should therefore send a correcting signal. If that does not happen, the security gains of the country could be lost once many clans in the country feel not properly represented in the government. This is the opportunity Al-Shabab is waiting for to come back to attract many Somalis back to their support.