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|Letter To Faisal Ali Waraabe|
Having seen the disastrous relationship between the two leading parties in the past few years, one can safely predict that cooperation and political alliance between UDUB & Kulmiye will not happen – although stranger things have happened in politics. Therefore, your party has found itself in a clearly advantageous and strategic position given the current political landscape.
Mr. Chairman, as you are well aware, the electorate sent 49 members of parliament to the House of Representatives as an act of protest against the continuing failure of the government to tell the country the truth as well as do the right thing. The government of Somaliland’s dismal political and economic record is an appalling about turn on the expectations of the people of this country. No mention is needed of this record: suffice to say that, the government of this country has failed to deliver on its promise to fight corruption as well as create an executive system that empowers the people and not individual ministerial appointments.
Power in this country is a shared responsibility; however the power to make laws and ultimately shape the political road map of this country is vested primarily in the House of Representatives. If the constitution of this country is any guide, then the House of Representatives has the ability to fundamentally change the political environment of Somaliland towards transparency, accountability, and ensuring that the checks and balance system works as envisioned in the constitution of Somaliland.
Our form of government cannot work, and therefore the country itself, if the opposition becomes entangled with trying to cannibalize executive authority by using the House of Representatives as a back door to the Presidency: this is the chief danger in the opposition and I believe it is proper to warn the opposition against this instinct. Indeed, if we are committed to the political process, we must adhere to our laws in order to make our form of government succeed. Presidential elections are slated for 2007, and parties must go to the polls if they desire the office of the President and must not, by political fiat, endeavor to settle scores with the Presidency. You must take the high road on these issues.
I say this as a matter of grave concern, the entire political process will gridlock if the executive senses that the opposition simply wants to assume the Presidency without elections, or through some writ from the House. I challenge both you Sir and the leader of the official opposition, Ahmed .M. Sillanyo to stay away from this instinct as a matter of political maturity. The opposition should stick to its legislative agenda and change the country through the mandate bestowed on them by the people of this country in this new parliament.
Mr. Chairman, it is critical for both parties to begin the process of organizing House committees and creating a secretariat for the House in order to stream line the laws and regulations governing the House and its Committees. It is through the House and its laws that the executive can be called to account, I therefore urge that you begin by appointing a party whip in order to organize the party’s business in the House. As well, I urge that you and the other parties in the house, at the very earliest sitting appropriate monies for the building of these committees as well as write legislation to fund political parties in the country.
Political parties are the agency for doing our political business, without the wherewithal to actively do their business, and without the infrastructure for doing the business of legislation, Party/House business will be reduced to what it was earlier – late night wheeling and dealing at State House Hargeisa
Mr. Chairman, the political and economic problems that face this country are simply gargantuan. Extreme poverty and the lack of the most basic human security institutions to militate against these outrageous conditions calls for a sober assessment of what we must do as a people.
This administrations chief success is in making sure that Somaliland undergoes a democratic process in order to settle our political differences. This is no mean achievement; the President will go into history as the man who safely guided the country through three elections. However, the administrations achievements stop there. It’s economic, social, and foreign affairs leave much to be desired and therefore much must be changed. In an earlier piece I argued against radical and militant sections of our intelligentsia who believed that an overhaul of the system was warranted. I believe change comes slowly, however, no citizen can accept to change the country slowly when the socio-political landscape is screaming for reform now!
It is in this vein that I wish to suggest that the Parliament of Somaliland should concentrate on these issues in order to make living in this country bearable. As you are well aware, our population is now about 2.5 to 3.0 millions human beings. 70% of these are under 30 years old, no peace, and no social compact will hold these young people down if there are no opportunities for them in the country. The people of this country will not eat the constitution, nor can they feed their children with laws and regulations. In fact, there can be no democracy when hunger, poverty and ignorance rule the political economy of this country. We must act, and we must act now!
Some ideas that can turn in to policy are these;
• There must first of all be a summit of the leadership in Somaliland that can start discussions on how to start a diplomatic and political offensive in order to move the international community towards matching the political achievements of this country.
We must understand that to be called ‘Africa’s best secret’ is actually a signal that things are not going well, we cannot be a secret, the international community must know that we are doing our best, however we need to grow partnerships with our region and the World at large if we are to start moving towards making our country stand on its two feet. I urge that partisan politics should not be the simple and basic rule off the opposition, cooperation, wielding the legal power of parliament, and calling the administration to account to the people with a view of continually building on our successes must be the order of the day.