Somalia is facing a political standoff due to the country’s delayed presidential and parliamentary elections.
Currently, Somalia seems to have taken a path that could see parliamentary elections on Feb. 25 as agreed by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and regional leaders after almost a week of intense discussions.
However, there are sticking points, including allocation of 30% seats in parliament to women.
In an exclusive interview, Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam, Somalia’s only female presidential candidate, told Anadolu Agency that the country needs a leader that can ensure peace and stability. She declared that only a female leader would be able to do that.
“Somalia needs peace, stability and development and due to the current political stalemate, tribal conflicts and massive corruption, only a female leader can lift it out of this mayhem,” Adam told Anadolu Agency.
Adam has already broken the glass ceiling by becoming Somalia’s first female deputy prime minister and foreign minister and now is vying for the highest office.
She said Somalia has been deprived of peace because of the “egos of men” at the top echelon of power.
Somalia has already held elections for the upper house of parliament, Aqalka Sare, where 14 out of 54 seats went to women.
– ‘More seats for women’
Adam said the women of Somalia deserve more than 30% representation in parliament.
Unfortunately, they are denied their rights by the 4.5 electoral system which allows tribal elders to select candidates, and who mostly prefer men over women, she said.
Somalia’s recent political standoff started after the country’s electoral body ousted its chairman and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed suspended Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.
She blamed the 4.5 system for the mess saying it lacked transparency.
“This system is unprincipled and unconstitutional. It is turning clans, families and constituencies against each other,” he said.
Calling herself a trailblazer, she said many other women have their eyes set on her electoral success and are playing a “wait and see” game.
She said she does not view two other presidential candidates, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed — both former presidents, as any real competition.
On the role of Turkiye in Somalia, she said Ankara has contributed to security, education and development in the Horn of Africa country.
“Turkiye has been a supporter of the Somali people for centuries. But they became closer on Aug. 19, 2011 when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Somalia,” she said.
Turkiye’s aid played a major role in mitigating the famine in 2011 and starting infrastructure and development projects in Somalia.