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Duale Just Abandoned Ruto. Hold Your Applause

Editorial Team

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National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale
   

Aden Duale, the Garissa Township MP and leader of the majority party in parliament, has learned that the easiest way to earn applause from State House and contrast between himself and Tangatanga movement brigade is to support the Building Bridge Initiative spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Duale said he ‘was not anyone’s title deed,’ referring to media reports that he had dumped Deputy President William Ruto. It seems his remark was a rebuke to Ruto, who opposes any form of change to Kenya’s constitution.

Since March 2018, when President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga agreed to work together, and initiated a constitutional change process, Ruto has been the face of opposition to the initiative championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.

Ruto believes any change made to the constitution will deny him any chance of him becoming Kenya’s fifth president.

By taking a stance against Ruto’s position, Duale positions himself as the anti-Tangatanga movement, a group of politicians supporting Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid and opposing the BBI which seeks to change the way the country is being governed, and an independent politician. Duale is also positioning himself as Northeastern region power broker in the likelihood that the constitution is changed and regional kingpins will have a say in the formation of the next government. He is taking a risk although he cannot influence how northeastern people, except those in Garissa town, vote.  His future political career depends on his support for the BBI. And he knows that. He is setting himself up as a regional kingpin.

Ruto-allied MPs know President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga will make sure the BBI goes to referendum and have Kenyans vote for it, but are looking ways to frustrate the effort.  The BBI itself is good for the country, it will help better how the country is governed and will give everyone equal opportunity at the political table.  Ruto and his team do want change, and Duale may have realised the future belongs to BBI.

Duale argues that the president’s and Raila’s initiative will cure the political dominance of the presidential seat by the big tribes. He said ‘Raila and I are political bed fellows. I support it because it will give equal opportunities to all the communities in the country to have a share of leadership positions.’

Previously, Duale insisted the BBI was not anchored in the constitution and cannot be table in parliament for debate. Partnering with Minority leader in the National Assembly, John Mbadi, he tabled a motion in the House, making the BBI legally binding and to have its report received in parliament.

The bone of contention between Tangatanga and Kieleweka (politicians supporting BBI) groups is that the former believes BBI is taking power away from the people, and concentrate the decision-making process in the hands of a few politicians. But this is not the reality. It is the people who will decide whether they want to change the government system in a referendum.

In making this decision, Duale has weighed the impact it can have on him, at least for the remaining two and half years. Tangatanga MPs can pressure him to resign as their leader in parliament. He was a member of now-defunct Ruto’s URP party and through it he became the Jubilee party leader in parliament in 2013 when the party won majority seats in the National Assembly.

Duale has taken a road never expected of him. We all thought he would die for Ruto.

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Politics

Madobe and Deni put off Mogadishu visit for days

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Jubbaland and Puntland leaders addressing the press in Garowe after a consultative conference. Photo: Garowe Online
   

The leaders of Jubbaland and Puntland regional governments have delayed their visit to Mogadishu for talks with the federal government.

Ahmed Madobe and Said Deni, who were expected in the Somali capital on Thursday, will be traveling to Mogadishu mid next week, The Frontier has learnt.

The two leaders were absent from the third round of talks in Dhusamareeb last week where President Mohamed Farmajo and three regional leaders and the mayor of Mogadishu signed an electoral deal that will pave way for ‘timely’ elections. Both Madobe and Deni rejected the Dhusamareeb outcome, but after local and international pressure, they are now open for further talks.

According to the deal, a constituency caucus of 301 delegates will elect a member of parliament, political parties compete for seats which will be presided over the National Independent Electoral Commission. State assemblies will elect the Senate (Upper House).

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Politics

After skipping Dhusamareeb parley, Madobe and Deni expected in Mogadishu for talks with Farmajo

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Photo: Goobjoog News
   

The leader of Jubbaland state government, Ahmed Madobe, and his Puntland counterpart Said Deni, will be traveling to Mogadishu on Thursday, August 27, to meet President Mohamed Farmajo, sources within Puntland State House and Villa Somalia have told The Frontier.

The leaders will discuss the outcome of Dhusamareeb summit, where Farmajo and three other regional leaders and the governor of Banadir agreed on an electoral model ‘suitable’ for the country.

According to the deal, a constituency caucus of 301 delegates will elect a member of parliament, political parties compete for seats which will be presided over the National Independent Electoral Commission. State assemblies will elect the Senate (Upper House).

Madobe and Deni skipped the meeting in Dhusamareeb, and said the agreement reached there  is a ‘political position limited to the views of leaders who attended that conference and we are not part of the conference and had no any representatives in the summit.’

They claimed Villa Somalia has failed to implement the previous Dhusamareeb conference by engineering the removal of Prime Minister Hassan Khaire, whose administration was tasked with implementing the outcome of the conference, in a bid to extend the government’s term in office, and failing to nominate a new premier to move the work forward and allowing a caretaker government in place.

Since the Dhusamareeb lll summit, Somalia’s international partners have been pressuring Madobe and Deni to come to the table and join other leaders in finding a solution to the country’s political crisis.

“Madobe and Deni are traveling to Mogadishu on Thursday as pressure from the IC (international community) heightens,” a top Somali official told The Frontier.

The Dhusamareeb deal awaits a parliamentary approval. Before that, Madobe and Deni could ask for amendments and give their signatures.

 

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Somalia Elections

What happens in Dhusamareeb doesn’t stay in Dhusamareeb

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The political crisis in Somalia continues despite leaders of the federal government, federal member states and the mayor of Mogadishu reaching an electoral agreement in the central city of Dhusamareeb. Two of Somalia’s five federal member states are opposing the deal.

On Thursday, 20th August, President Mohamed Farmajo and the leaders of Galmudug, Hirshabelle and South West states and the mayor of Mogadishu, agreed on an election deal that that will take place on schedule, and a little bit different from the last election of 2016.

According to the deal, a constituency caucus of 301 delegates will elect a member of parliament, political parties compete for seats which will be presided over the National Independent Electoral Commission. State assemblies will elect the Senate (Upper House).

The drama surrounding Somalia’s election is being watched by local as well as outside players with keen interest in the country’s ability to hold free and credible polls.

The leaders of Jubbaland and Puntland who did not attend the latest round of talks rejected the outcome of the summit. They said the agreement reached in Dhusamareeb is a ‘political position limited to the views of leaders who attended that conference and we are not part of the conference and had no any representatives in the summit.’

“Ahmed Madobe and Said Deni, the leaders of Jubbaland and Puntland, could have attended the conference and present their views. No one could force them to agree with the other leaders,” Afyare Elmi, associated professor of security studies, Qatar University told the BBC.

“Other stakeholders, such as the national opposition and the civil society groups, could also have been invited to the conference to herald a broader political consensus,” he said.

Although with conditions, the Forum for National Parties – a coalition of opposition parties led by former presidents Sharif Ahmed and Hassan Mohamud – welcomed the agreement, saying that it is a step taken to the right direction moving the country closer to holding inclusive and timely election.

The agreement reached in Dhusamareeb is not binding; its implementation depends on the approval by the House of the People. President Farmajo, while addressing the Lower House before departing to Dhusamareeb last week, told members any electoral deal would be brought before the House for debate and approval.

According to the Provisional Federal Constitution, parliament must be elected through universal direct suffrage, thus the need for parliament to approve or reject the Dhusamareeb agreement.

There is concern about real political instability brewing between Jubbaland Puntland on one hand and the federal government on the other due to the strongly held divergent views among leaders and high political tensions in this pre-electoral period.

Farmajo has conceded much in Dhusamareeb. He has offered to sacrifice one of his legacies – leading the country to a one person, one vote. By abandoning a direct election which he advocated for to end a stalemate, he has angered many of his supporters who are overwhelmingly in favour of universal suffrage.

Somalis, in general, would probably be delighted to participate in an election they can participate in, but would want the next election, whether universal suffrage or indirect, held in a fair and credible manner, free from corruption as witnessed in 2016.

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