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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Restoration of democracy in Somalia: problems and prospects
Author:Saxena, S.C.ISNI
Periodical:Indian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Somalia
Abstract:The problem of the restoration of democracy in Somalia should be seen in the wider context of the restoration of democracy in Africa as a whole, as well as in its historical context. Although democracy was said to be in the blood of African people, most African countries replaced a political system modelled on Western liberal democracy with one-party rule or military dictatorship soon after independence. The current movement towards multiparty democracy in Africa is still very weak. In the case of Somalia, the priority at present must be to end the civil war and bring the whole country under the control of a government of national unity. Somalia, which has known no democracy since independence, will need a long period of peace and normalcy before conditions are conducive for the introduction of a democratic order. A future democratic order must be based on the concept of powersharing. The Western liberal democratic system of winner takes all and majority rule is not suitable for societies such as the Somali with sharp tribal and clan divisions. The political party system will have to be reconstructed on ideological lines and the constitution will have to provide that all parties must be national and multi-ethnic in character. There is need for an independent and free press, and the problem of corruption and nepotism will have to be seriously addressed. Finally, strong public opinion, the best safeguard against a military coup, will take a long time to develop. Ref.