Hawiye sub-clans wrangle over who will serve as Farmaajo’s Prime Minister

As Somalis throughout the country took part in mass public celebrations of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo‘s surprise victory in Somalia’s presidential election, traditional power brokers of several Hawiye sub-clans have been engaging in frantic behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts to have one of their own appointed as Farmaajo’s prime minister.

Because of the 4.5 clan power sharing formula, Farmaajo is expected to appoint a Hawiye prime minister however it’s not clear what sub-clan he will choose from. So far analysts suggest that he will pick either from the Habar Gidir, Abgaal, or Murusade sub-clans with the first two being more likely than the last.

Farmaajo is related by marriage to the Muursade clan and the clan’s MPs in parliament are said to have broken decisively for Farmaajo during the second-round of voting. Additionally, many Al-Shabaab foot soldiers hail from this clan and bringing this long-marginilized sub-clan into government at such a prominent level may see the terror organization lose influence among clan members. However Murusade is less influential politically than the Habar Gidir and Abgaal clans, with the latter being the clan of outgoing Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Whoever Farmaajo selects as prime minister, it is expected that it will be a technocratic individual. Farmaajo himself has both a bachelors and graduate degree from an American university and previously appointed only educated, professional individuals during his brief time as Somalia’s prime minister between 2010 and 2011. Although he has 30 days to select his prime minister, Farmaajo said that he will expedite the process because Somalia faces a major drought and potential famine.