A Parody of a Parliament
April 18, 2010 2 Comments
Another meeting delayed, another MP resigns, another punch-up on the way. Amid the never-ending saga that has crippled the Somali parliament, the long-awaited meeting of the MPs scheduled for Sunday 18 has now also been cancelled. The parliament was expected to convene today for the first time since December last year, but it failed. Not surprisingly also, Cismaan Cilmi Boqorre, the second deputy speaker of the Parliament, has officially declared his resignation today. Criticizing the government of ineffectiveness and detailing some of the reasons that led to his resignation, Mr Boqorre said:
Though there was some dispute between me and the Parliament Speaker, the main reason of my resignation is the ineffectiveness of the parliament and its lack of action when needed…and after looking into all this I’ve decided to resign.
Mr Boqorre’s decision comes at a time when the parliament has been facing a severe power struggle from within. Divided into two camps, the parliamentarians have been at loggerheads ever since their call to duty.
On one hand, the Pro-Sharif division of the parliament has been calling for the speaker of the Parliament, Sheikh Adan Madoobe, to step down and allow the election of a new speaker. A call vociferously repudiated by the speaker who recently returned from a meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, to discuss security and bilateral relations. Also, the president and the Prime Minister both want to oust the Parliament speaker in favour of the President’s right hand man – Sharif Hassan.
And this seems to be the bone of contention here, speaking of which Mr Boqqore said:
The time has expired and we need a new a new Parliament Speaker to replace the current one.
Another MP, Cali Maxamad Faarax, who also chimed along to the same tune, praised the bold action taken by the second deputy speaker and called on other lawmakers to follow suit.
On the other hand, the Pro-Madoobe division has slapped the TFG with accusations of corruption, citing the Prime Minister’s rejection of the parliament’s call for an income report. They have also been calling for a motion of impeachment against the Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake.
In this haphazardly orchestrated podium of political scuffle, the alleged bulwarks of society have long been a testament to the serious malaise that has debilitated the Somali society. Many MPs who have been cheerfully line dancing at the sidelines have also now become entangled in the muddle, further complicating matters. But whilst waltzing away to the discordant rhythm of terrorism, could the president have failed the nation?
Sheikh Ahmed, whose government is often pilloried by the international media for failing to curb the terrorist onslaught on the capital city, is now fighting a major battle on many open fronts; the Islamists are merely a stone throw away from his heavily fortified compound, the internal strife of the MPs is getting out of control, the public is gradually losing hope in the government’s ability and the international community has already given up on him.
Often described here as a penny-pinching government aided by MPs who lack the moral rectitude to govern people, Sheikh Ahmed’s has been but a parody of a state. His tenuous hold on the government emphasized by the tepidity with which the affairs of state are conducted is seen as a romanticized picture of authority, devoid of any real meaning.
The president along with the 70 parliamentarians who have landed in Mogadishu yesterday for the meeting of the MPs, along with 30 others who are said to be coming to Mogadishu today, will only be met by a large hall and empty seats. The meeting which was to bring the parliament out of the indefinite recess was cancelled primarily, it is predicated, because of the presidents meeting with some representatives of Ahlu Sunna Wal jamaa’ under the close scrutiny of the UN.
Perhaps it is time to reconstitute the parliament. Or perhaps another entertaining scene and a sequel of that classic Abdullahu Yusuf era parliament brawl awaits us. Either way, be prepared for entertainment.