n Journal of Somali Studies - Somalia’s struggle to integrate traditional and modern governance systems : the 4.5 formula and the 2012 provisional constitution

Volume 6 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2056-5674
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5682



My purpose in this article is to assess the impact of Somalia’s 4.5 power sharing formula on the consolidation of national post-conflict governance in the hands of a representative Somali body. Per the Arta Peace Agreement, seats in parliament are awarded to the four major clans, which also dominate the election process. This has led to the perpetuation of many of the same social (clan) dynamics that lead to conflict in the past. Even though the 4.5 formula is not part of the Somali constitution adopted in 2012, the 2017 presidential elections were primarily derived from the formula. Although the goal was to move towards a one-man one-vote system, the use of the 4.5 formula in the 2017 elections signifies a struggle which mostly stems from the lack of physical security or resistance to limit the influence clan has in the election process. This article will argue that clan influence is likely to remain a challenge for Somalia’s transition to democracy until a civilian-based voting system is put into place.

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