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Letter To Faisal Ali Waraabe
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Editorial & Opinions

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Letter To Faisal Ali Waraabe

Somaliland Seeks World Recognition‎

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In Response To The Article Titled” The Better Memo ‎To The Canadian Premier Minister Paul Martin.”‎

By Ahmed Hashi Dhimbiil

Let me begin by congratulating UCID and you Sir, as its Chairman, on gaining a substantial vote of ‎confidence from the electorate even though your party came third in the parliamentary elections. UCID holds ‎the balance of power in this august house for the coming five years and therefore wields considerable ‎political currency in this country.‎

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. ‎
‎•‎ It is critical that this offensive be about the development of governance, the economy, and the investment ‎of the international community in Somaliland. The international community is willing to do more, a lot ‎more; however, competent people who are educated and know the international system must be ‎accommodated for this offensive.‎
‎•‎ It is very critical that the economic, social and political investments that we want be de-coupled from the ‎issue of recognition. If there is an issue that makes the international community squirm – because they are ‎caught in bad situation – it is the issue of recognition. For, it closes down every other avenue of discussion. ‎After meeting the German and South African Ambassadors in Kenya, together with Ambassador M.A Ali I ‎came to the realization that recognition should not trump our ability to call on the international community ‎to invest in Somaliland.‎

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. ‎


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