Standort: / Meldung: "Another Female Presidential Candidate Making History"

Riem Higazi

Cultural mash-ups, political slip-ups, and other things that make me go hmmm.

27. 7. 2016 - 13:18

Another Female Presidential Candidate Making History

Hillary Clinton is in good company: one-time refugee Fadumo Dayib is Somalia's first female candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

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Somalia makes the western world's news headlines at very regular intervals and the stories are overwhelmingly negative. From the immense corruption of its current government, to the violence that plagues the country, to the seemingly endless tragedy of famine - Somalia has been and continues to be in big trouble and it needs big changes if anything is going to improve for its roughly 12.3 million people, 43 per cent of which live in extreme poverty (less than 1 US dollar a day) while over half of the labour force is unemployed.

I'm With Her

Fadumo Dayib's life story, so far, is remarkable.
The situation she has placed herself in right now is extraordinary.

Fadumo Dayib, first-ever female presidential candidate in Somalia.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Fadumo Dayib

The immensely complicated and non-transparent process she has immersed herself in, is exceedingly hard for me to get my head around and so, I tweeted Ms. Dayib and the lady being heralded as the hope for the future of Somalia, kindly granted me an interview.

Could you please explain how the nomination process works when you endeavour to run for the office of president in Somalia?

Fadumo Dayib: It’s actually a very easy process. You just announce that you’re a candidate so anyone who is a Somali national, who is above the age of forty and who is qualified can announce their candidacy. The next stage is submitting your candidature to Parliament which then moves the process forward.

I understand that you also have to pay a sort of registration fee.

Yes. Currently there are nineteen candidates who have announced their candidacy, there are others who will join. Most likely we will have more than twenty or even approaching thirty and each one is going to pay 20 to maybe even 50 thousand (American dollars).

When do you find out if Parliament approves your announcement?

Well, this is a tricky question because the Parliament has to disband in August. We have to have a new Parliament comprising of 275 members of Parliament in the Lower House and the Upper House will have 50 members of Parliament. They will then select the next president of Somalia sometime in September. This was the time-table but unfortunately the government hasn’t been able to stick to it. So, most likely this process is going to drag out possibly until December and even until the beginning of 2017.

So, you won’t even know if you are eligible to run in an election campaign until another president is put forward by Parliament?

No. Actually, nobody can campaign in Somalia because we are not having democratic elections, we are not having one person-one vote elections. What happens is that people buy votes, they sell votes. It’s a very corrupt system. It’s not a very transparent, rigorous process. The nomination- as long as you meet the requirements, then you can put your nomination forward and you pay the fee. Even the current incumbent is a candidate who will have to go through the same process but the process hasn’t been established because the Upper and Lower Houses haven’t been formed yet. There is a likelihood that the mandate of this government will be extended towards the end of the year.

So, how confident are you that you actually stand a chance of becoming president?

Why I’m doing this isn’t really just about the presidency. I am instigating social change. I’m just a catalyst that is initiating the process. The goals that I had set out for myself, I’ve already won. The fact that we are even able to stand up and say that we will run and we are going to be the president is breaking down a lot of doors.

When you say we, you mean women?

I speak for women and I speak for the youth as well, the Somali youth who are also side-lined by this very oppressive clan system which only caters to privileged males above the age of fifty. This is really a victory for women and the youth and for marginalised communities in Somalia that we have actually been able to do this and are also sustaining the momentum. On top of that - that we are very credible candidates compared to the calibre of people that are running alongside us. So, this is a victory in itself. What we are doing is really paving the road for ten, fifteen years so that the next crop of leaders will be ones who are competent, who are capable of doing the job, regardless of their gender. So, it’s not just about 2016, it’s about decades and centuries down the line.

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