Peaceful transfer of power captures the essence of democracy. In that sense, Kenya, Somalia’s neighbor, has made gigantic move forward and joined to world democracies with its African heritage of multiple tribes and numerous ethnic groups, proving most Somali analysts deeply wrong in their debates on the subject. Clans aren’t the problem in Somalia. It is the politicians who use them for opportunistic and selfish aims, cultivating divisions and hatred among clans in the process.

The cornerstone of democracy is respect and adherence to the spirit and letter of the constitution. That solemn civil contract is what binds the citizens to constitute a nation-state, exercising the laws of the land. Clans, in the case of Somalia, are positive forces of identification as genuine Somalis and belonging to a clan solidifies its ownership as a stakeholder. There is no other way to define or distort this reality. When discoverers of 4.5 Clan Power-sharing Formula in Somali politics introduced their invention, they struck at elusive discovery of Somali reality, hypocritically denied by many. Inventors of the Clan Formula didn’t hide the fact that it is good only before general free and fair elections take place, after which the Formula requires some adjustments for Power-sharing and clan balance reasons. For example, the Head of State and Head of Government cannot come from the same sub-clan of the 4.5 clan political configuration. There must be a clan balance in government. Even after general elections, you are dealing with the 4.5 sort of a scenario.

Welcome to Kenya, whereby save the President, every elected person is picked by his/her own constituency in most cases. In tribal politics, it is hard to discover a neutral party. Only laws are needed in place to make public servants apolitical. Other than that, accept the reality and move on.

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