A Somali clan elder has been assassinated in the capital, Mogadishu, as the Al-Shabaab group continues to target clan elders who participate in the parliamentary election.

The slain elder, Mohamed Feeldher, was part of a delegation from Galmudug state in central Somalia, responsible for selecting members of parliament in 2016.

The Al-Qaeda-linked militant group which is fighting to topple the Somali government is opposed to democracy, declaring it as “Western culture” and “against the Islamic teaching.”

In 2016, Al-Shabaab called on its followers and sympathisers to kill anyone involved in the election of members of parliament. Since then, more than a dozen clan elders who played a role in selecting members of parliament have been assassinated.

Somalia’s politics is currently based on a clan system known as 4.5, where the four major clans share political power and position equally, and the other 0.5 are given to smaller clans.

However, the country is planning to change this system in 2020 when it introduces a one person, one vote poll. This promises to be a step forward, but unless security is restored and Al-Shabaab is defeated, it will be difficult to run a smooth election.

And by 2020, the African Union troops backing the Somali government and helping to defeat Al-Shabaab will have withdrawn from the country and handed over responsibility for the country’s security to the Somali military.