Is Qatar Backing A Khaire Presidency?
It is now clear that the next Presidential elections in Somalia will not be held on February 8 as earlier scheduled and instead the country’ will be bracing for a much later polls to ne held in 2021 according to Election Commissioner Halima Ismail who briefed Parliament on Saturday.
This in essence means Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo’s term in office has been extended by a possible 13 months as NCIEC says it needs more time to prepare for the polls.
This also automatically makes Prime Minister Khaire the longest serving Prime Minister having been in office for 3 years
With the uncertainty over the date laid to rest , at least for now , the focus for Somalia political analysts now shifts to the question who will be the flag bearer for the new political outfit Nabad & Nolol or “Peace and Life , is it the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo or his Prime Minister Hassan Khaire?
The Premier’s latest tour of Qatar is turning out to be a fodder for analysts who strongly believe Hassan Khaire may be the man who will be vying to occupy Villa Somalia in 2021.
This considering the crucial role the gulf state played in the last election. Is Qatar warming up to Khaire as the horse to back in the 2021 Presidential elections?
A delegation led by Prime Minister Hassan Khaire on Friday morning jetted off to Qatar and local media reports has been toying with the narrative that the oil rich Gulf state is preparing Khaire for a takeover .
The 5 day trip trip which includes Somalia’s Central Bank Governor Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi came unexpectedly as it had not been announced previously.
Prime Minister Khaire’s delegation to Doha will hold meetings with Qatari government officials during its four to five-day stay in Qatar.
Sources indicate that Qatar has recently bolstered its connection with Khaire who has forged remarkable relations with top Qatari officials, including the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani , the Foreign Minister Mohamed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and other influential Qatari figures.
“Doha has recently lowered its ties with Villa Somalia, notably President Farmajo a move that may be construed as a cautious strategy as to who to back as a formidable presidential aspirant in the forthcoming highly awaited national elections” Nurdin DMukhtar a political analyst told Radio Dalsan in an interview.
Reliable sources have confirmed to Radio Dalsan of carefully planned preparations to launch his presidential campaign. Khaire is however yet to officially go public on the intentions to run as a presidential candidate in the next elections.
Insiders tell Radio Dalsan that Farmaajo and Khaire shared different positions regarding the registration of the new political outfit named after the government slogan Nabad & Nolool Party the flagship of the duo’s re election.
An application regarding details of the new political party is now with the office of the Chairperson of the National Independent Elections Commission (NIEC) Halima Ismail Ibrahim for registration consideration but not yet fully registered as some documents are said to be missing and Khaire the supposed Secretary General’s view on the party is not clear
Khaire’s debut into politics started in 2016 Khaire with affiliation to Hassan Sheikh Mohamud having been the Presidential candidate’s campaigner in the 2017 elections. He however left for Nairobi in the last minute before emerging as the Prime Minister in the Farmaajo administration.
Analysts are of the opinion that Khaire has what it takes to vie for the presidency.
Qatar which supported Hassan Sheikh in 2012 and Farmaajo to clinch the 2017 elections on the other hand would want a sure bet on a man they can entrust on as the President of Somalia.
Will the incumbent give in to the demands of his main financiers in the last election or will he be seeking a second term to become the first President in Somalia to have two terms in office? only time will tell.