Somaliland’s political system dominated by Isak tribe

Faaqidaad— In 1991, The Northern regions declared to secede from the rest of the country after more than three-week meeting hosted by Burao, the capital in the northwestern Togdheer region of Somalia.

We are not here to talk about this issue but we want to look at whether the tribes in the regions that the administration claims to represent are part of it or not.

Tribes of Isak, Samaron, Isse, Dhulbahante, Warsengali, Fiqishini and many others share a large portion of this Somali land.

Women march in a procession to celebrate the 25th anniversary of proclaimed independence in the capital Hargeisa, Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, May 18, 2016 | © AP.
Women march in a procession to celebrate the 25th anniversary of proclaimed independence in the capital Hargeisa, Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, May 18, 2016 | © AP.

Forms of the government

The government consists of executive, legislative and judicial, according to article 37, clause 2 in the Somaliland constitution that defined it.

Somaliland’s legislative

The legislative consists of the 82-member of the Upper Chamber and the 82-member of the Lower Chamber in which the latter has more power.

Abdirahman A. Irro Head of Legislature and chairman of Somaliland’s House of Elders in the Upper Chamber Saleban Mohamud Adan are both from Isak tribe.

Somaliland’s House of Representatives in the 82-member of the Lower Chamber are shared like this: Isaak 57, Samaron 13, Isse 1, Dhulbahante 6, Warsengali 4 and Fiqishini 1.

To consider making any changes in the constitution, at least 28 members should vote for it, which probably means 1/3 of the Lower Chamber.


Samaron, Isse, Dhulbahante, Warsengali and Fiqishini all combined cannot table a motion or suggest a new law, even if they agree to. Only Isak has that authority.

Parliament members of Isak can pass or reject any suggested motion or any new proposed law because they are absolute majority.

Somaliland’s executive branch

The Executive of the government is the President and they are as follows: His Vice President, Ministers, state ministers and deputy -ministers. And President Ahmed Mohammed Mohamoud (Siilaanyo) himself, of course, comes from Isak tribe.

At least % 70 of the government comes from the same tribe of the President. And they also held the important posts, such as Ministry of Finance which equally weighs four other ministries.

President Ahmed Mohammed Mohamoud- Siilaanyo.
President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohammed Mohamoud- Siilaanyo.

Somaliland’s judicial branch

The Somaliland’s Supreme Court is the most powerful branch in the state. And also is a constitutional one as defined in article 101 of the Somaliland Constitution.

The Chief Justice of the Somaliland Adan Haji Ali comes from the same tribe of Isak.

Somaliland’s political system

The article 9 of the Somaliland’s constitution reads, The political system of the Republic of Somaliland is based on peace, Co-operation, democracy and multi-party system.”

In the same article 9, there is a clause, 3 , outlawing any party founded on a regional or tribal basis. But on the hand, three parties Kulmiye party, Wadani Party and UCID party are chaired by Muse Bihi Abdi, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi (Irro) and Faysal Ali Warabe. And unsurprisingly, all of them comes from the same tribe of Isak.

Somaliland’s presidential system

Any politician that wants to run for the presidency must come out of those three national parties.

Jamal Ali Hussein, Muse Bihi and Abdirahman Irro are running for presidential contest and all of them hails from the same tribe of Isak.


So, do you call it a nation or tribal state?

There are other positions weighted including military commanders, directors-general and heads of independent agencies, of which at least 80%, led by Isak clan members.

The importance of our report is not to look at all posts of the government but instead, we focus on the key positions in its administration in accordance with its constitution.


You can watch here this report in Somali language


Shiine Culay
Editor in chief | Faaqidaad
editor@faaqidaad.com | Follow on Twitter @Shiineculay


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