Farmaajo’s term as President in Somalia ended in Februrary this year and after several attempts of holding the delayed presidential election, the country still has no legitimate head of state. The delay of the election, combined with the dispute between the allied opposition group and the federal government illustrates a democratic challenge for Somalia. Al-Shabaab’s increasing presence the recent years is also adding to the democratic crisis. Moreover, the regional conflict levels are also increasing with the maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia, while the country seems to turn to a new alliance with Ethiopia and Eritrea.
What implications will the delayed presidential election have – both nationally and regionally? Considering the diverging interests of the involved actors, will Somalia be able to hold a free and fair presidential election in line with democratic standards? Could we see increased tension between the federal government and regional stakeholders? Is the geopolitical tension over Somalia a sign of future developments regarding alliances? And how can Somalia, 30 years after the civil war broke out, move on from its reputation as a ”failed state”?