Somalia: Critics Lay Into Khaire's 'Opportunism' for Running for President.

Vote (file photo).
15 September 2020

Somalia's critics of ousted Prime Minister Hassan Khaire were on Sunday unanimous in terming his bid for Presidency as an opportunistic venture.

Khaire, who resigned from office on July 25, moments after the Lower House passed a no-confidence vote in him, announced on Saturday that he will be running for President in the coming elections whose date was not yet clear.

And though his departure was seen as extra-legal by the opponents of President Mohamed Farmaajo, Khaire's announcement has attracted a wrath from the very people who sympathises with his sacking.

Wadajir Party leader Abdishakur Abdirahman, said Khaire had been the implementer of Farmaajo's illegal acts including harassment of opposition politicians. He accused Khaire of stalling reforms which would have clarified the timely elections and ensured civil liberties for everyone.

In a post on his Facebook page, he says Khaire endorsed the government decision to extradite a Commander of the Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] to Ethiopia, without following procedure.

Locally, Khaire was accused of ruining relations between the executive and Parliament which saw the resignation of Speaker of Lower House Mohamed Osman Jawhari in April 2018. Mr Jawhari had already survived various bids by MPs to impeach him, and he believed the government wanted him out because he was seen as an agent of a foreign country.

"Somalia deserves a full reset and not another recycle of failed men," Adan Abdulle, a Somali analyst tweeted

"[Khaire] has been characterised by unbridled corruption, betrayal of public trust and political violence.

Today's announcement vindicates Farmaajo's decision to oust him.

A former executive and humanitarian worker, Khaire was accused of switching allegiances in the run-up to the 2017 elections to opportunistically win over Farmaajo' s nod to be PM, once he was elected.

But it appears his loyalty was periodic and his employers knew he was after his personal interest, Abdulle Abdulle // argued.

Abdishakur claimed Khaire looked the other way when security agents under his watch bombed his office on December 18, 2017 killing several of the guards and colleagues. Abdishakur believed the government of Khaire was involved as officials never investigated the matter to prosecute suspects.

Last year, as Mogadishu bickered with K ismayu over the validity of Jubaland elections, a directive in September 209, from the PM's office, barred an aircraft carrying former Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and other former leaders from travelling to the inauguration of Ahmed Madobe. Madobe has since received recognition from Farmaajo, albeit as 'interim' president. But it could indicate the bad blood had been fueled by Khaire.

"He must come clean and clarify his role in the political crises of his tenure," Abdishakur wrote in the native Somali language.

Mahad Salad, an opposition MP said Khaire's virtual announcement of his bid was already indicative of his fear of speaking directly to the people. Announcing the bid on Facebook, Salad said "seems like someone is fearing something we can't see.".

Khaire, while having every right as a Somali to contest, will have the initial challenge of building a formidable campaign team at a time when either side of the divide has been hurt by his actions: The opposition feels he was the hands, eyes and ears of Farmaajo to oppress the critics, while Farmaajo sees him as a man who wanted to undercut his legacy.

As a dual citizen of Norway, he may still face the old question of loyalty. The incumbent, Farmaajo, ditched his American passport earlier in the year. And even though the Somali law doesn't forbid dual nationals from running for presidency, it could raise moral questions.

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