The Voice of America Somali Service conducted a survey over a three month period that polled more than 3,000 Somalis in Somalia, Somaliland, and at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. The results were fascinating.
Eighty-seven percent of the Somalis agreed strongly that Sharia law should be applied as a civil and criminal code throughout Somalia. Support for Sharia was strong among men, women and across age groups and geographic regions.
Most Somalis believed that women should be involved in the political process; 77 percent of the women agreed and 58 percent of the men agreed. Surprisingly, however, more than a third of the Somalis surveyed opposed ANY role for women in politics.
On 10 July 2012, 825 members selected from traditional elders, intellectual and civil society groups plan to adopt a provisional constitution. A majority of Somalis surveyed--61 percent--said it should be approved through a national referendum, although they acknowledged security conditions and lack of logistical capacity make that impossible now.
Eighty-three percent of those polled supported a strong central government as opposed to 13 percent who wanted a weak central government. In Mogadishu 92 percent favored a strong central government compared to 77 percent in Puntland and 83 percent in Somaliland.
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