Creation of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party
One of the SRC's first acts was to prohibit the existence of
any political association. Under Soviet pressure to create a
communist party structure to replace Somalia's military regime,
Siad Barre had announced as early as 1971 the SRC's intention to
establish a one-party state. The SRC already had begun organizing
what was described as a "vanguard of the revolution" composed of
members of a socialist elite drawn from the military and the
civilian sectors. The National Public Relations Office (retitled
the National Political Office in 1973) was formed to propagate
scientific socialism with the support of the Ministry of
Information and National Guidance through orientation centers
that had been built around the country, generally as local selfhelp projects.
The SRC convened a congress of the Somali Revolutionary
Socialist Party (SRSP) in June 1976 and voted to establish the
Supreme Council as the new party's central committee. The council
included the nineteen officers who composed the SRC, in addition
to civilian advisers, heads of ministries, and other public
figures. Civilians accounted for a majority of the Supreme
Council's seventy-three members. On July 1, 1976, the SRC
dissolved itself, formally vesting power over the government in
the SRSP under the direction of the Supreme Council.
In theory the SRSP's creation marked the end of military
rule, but in practice real power over the party and the
government remained with the small group of military officers who
had been most influential in the SRC. Decision-making power
resided with the new party's politburo, a select committee of the
Supreme Council that was composed of five former SRC members,
including Siad Barre and his son-in-law, NSS chief Abdullah. Siad
Barre was also secretary general of the SRSP, as well as chairman
of the Council of Ministers, which had replaced the CSS in 1981.
Military influence in the new government increased with the
assignment of former SRC members to additional ministerial posts.
The MOD circle also had wide representation on the Supreme
Council and in other party organs. Upon the establishment of the
SRSP, the National Political Office was abolished; local party
leadership assumed its functions.