Public opinions and evaluations of federal systems are important to the functionality and vitality of those systems. Yet little is known about the general public opinion on whether a federal system of government in Somalia promotes positive political stability, accommodates the interests of different groups and the barriers to transitioning into a federal system whilst being a fragile state. 165 participants representing the stakeholders of society in the Somali Federal Parliament participated in the study. This study argues that the design of federalism is a significant factor for the success of the system in post conflict countries. To enhance the prospects of state rebuilding from a political perspective and to facilitate the envisaged decentralization, there is an enormous need for reform when public institutions are weak. The reforms will have to include political inclusion through a multi-party system, constitutional review, supportive atmosphere for political competition, the clear separation of powers of the federal government and defined exercisable powers between the regional states and central government. In addition, a fair and transparent process is necessary for the creation of federal member states. Barriers are inherent and inevitable in the process of shifting from the previous centralized system and current clan power sharing arrangements to federalism.
Key words: Federalism, state rebuilding, political stability, Somalia.
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