Nowadays there have been PSU student’s elections at Puntland State University (PSU), the students elected chairperson as well as departmental representatives for the coming year. Election campaigns have been affected by the whole university. It can be seen that the students have been busy during election campaigns, university’s walls were over-crowded with candidates’ pictures. Wednesday 8th of March at 06:00PM there was a lecturer made by the chairperson candidates, the students asked question related if they succeed how each of them will lead the PSUSDA. Also, it was given an opportunity to exchange some questions and the next day’s morning at 9:00AM the polls started and ended at 05:00 PM. From the start to the end the students have been busy voting and campaigning for their preferred leader. This year the election was more interested than other years because of two reasons: (i) first, it was elected chairperson and a departmental representative, (ii) second. was one male and female have contested for the seat.
Student elections is one of the extracurricular activities that the university holds each year, other extracurricular activity include: Week of Culture and Innovations. This week students exhibit cultural activities, innovations related to their studies. The aim of this week is to increase students’ understanding to his/ her culture and encouraging the student to come up with innovations related to the understanding of their studies. All extracurricular activities are sponsored by the university. Student elections were chaired by committees nominated by the university. The university donated the location, elections management and facilitations. However, within the election it was student-centered. The students were free to campaign and elect leader that they deemed to be the best leader. The main goal of the student elections is to offer student an opportunity to get an experience in elections, leadership process and governmental structures to improve their theoretical understanding of governmental systems.
In Somalia is very difficult to conduct democratic elections that the citizen goes to the polls to vote preferred political parties or their preferred leader due to security concerns. Last year it was supposed to conducted elections based one person one vote but the government failed to conduct and it resulted to go indirect elections. Any Somali who is of the age of 45 years has missed an opportunity to vote for preferred leaders. The leaders have been elected through traditional elders.
Historical background of Somali elections
March 1954 was the first time that Somali people got an opportunity to vote their preferred leaders and got first political participation in the country. Municipal elections conducted in cites under the power of Italian colony the elections was sponsored by UN and was managed by Italy, 75% of the citizens voted Somali Youth League (SYL) won most the seats and the second part was Hizbia Dustur Mustquil Somalia (HDMS) party.
The second elections happened in February 1956 after 20 parties contested 70 seats of legislative assembly which was replaced Amministrazione Fiduciaria Italiana della Somalia (AFIS) Italian authority governed by the country. The elections were succeeded 4 parties by lead by SYL, 9 May 1956 Abdullhi Isse Mohamud was appointed as first Somalia prime Minister of Somalia.
20 June 1961 again Somali citizens went to the polls to vote and approve the first Somali Constitution. The results were interested after when they approved the constitution. By that time the parliament was elected as a president of Somalia Aden Abdulle for 6 years after when he defeated Shiekh Ali Jumale Baraale then the president appointed Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke to be Prime Minister who was ultimately elected as Somali president in 1967. Aden Abdulle was the first African president who successfully accepted the outcome of the elections.
After few years, the president of Somali was assassinated in Sool region (Laas Caanood) and the power went the hands of military regime, in Augusta 1979 was held referendum on the constitution and majority of voter was approved after that there have several elections arranged by military regime most of elections concluded that the General Mohamed Siyad Barre won the presidential elections over 99.9%.
The former dictatorial present Mr. Barre was escaped from the capital city of Mogadishu 1991 and the power went the hands of warlords. The people of Somalia suffered the difficulties and sorrows of the civil war, they fled to neighboring countries as well as Tahriib or illegal emigration to Europe via Sudan, Libya and across Mediterranean Sea.
After years Somaliland people got the opportunity to go the polls and vote their political parties/ leaders. Here Puntland the Faroole’s administration ones tried to conduct multi-party system that people could have a chance to vote their leaders but it encountered challenges to establish a multi-party system in Puntland.
There have been indirect elections through traditional leaders, the elders were nominated the members of parliament then the parliament have been elected president and vice president the country have experience this kind of elections, the traditional elders played important role to represent the entire population and nominate their preferred leaders.
At the end of 2016 when federal government declared that it will be impossible to conduct one person one vote, the National Leaders Forum (NLF) agreed to conduct indirect elections, more close to 14025 delegates was supposed to elect 275 of lower house representatives, the delegates and candidate of lower house representatives was appointed by traditional leaders whereas the candidates of upper house representatives was appointed by state presidents and was ratified by state parliaments. However the indirect elections were exercised different type of corruptions including bribery, nepotism and some other, the votes went the highest bidder. Finally Farmajo who inspired renewed sense of optimism within the Somali people has been elected by the parliament.
Conclusion and recommendations
After months and weeks of election and election campaigns the students of PSU spoke and voted their preferred leader for the coming year which will be first lady forever lead the PSUSDA, there have been other ladies who contested the chairperson most of them they missed to success the highest position of PSUSDA leadership. Finally, the elections were concluded successfully and Fardowsa Muse Farah is won to be the leader of PSU students
The following are key recommended points:
- The students should encourage establishing multi-party systems that they can practice democracy and governmental structures.
- There should be an representative options for the if the candidates gets equal votes for example the last elections there was no such option if they were got equal votes it would be to go polls again.
Prepared by A.A. Warsame