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CHANGE OF THE OLD GUARD AND THE ELECTABILITY FACTOR!
By Ahmed Ali Ibrahim Sabeyse
Dr. Mohamed Omar’s essay, Somaliland’s forthcoming presidential election is predicted begins with the following assertion:
With a view to the upcoming presidential election, Somaliland’s contemporary political narrative points to a potential winner. If the current national context is anything to go by, Kulmiye should get ready for office, and Mr. Ahmed Siilaanyo can start rewriting his long overdue inaugural speech.
This self serving statement is completely detached from the current political realities of present day Somaliland. We can agree on one and only one thing: The electorate is ready for change of leadership and I am glad that the writer has the courage to say so because the Chairmen of the three political parties are equally allergenic to any changes affecting their respective positions. The phrase is a harbinger of an ill omen- a real political discomfort they can not countenance.
In politics and economics forward looking statements are acceptable with certain parameters provided the metrics are based on a sound and factual analysis. Nine months ahead of an election not even likely to take place in the first place with such certainty, Dr.Omar must have access to highly classified information on the inner workings of Kulmiye party. Predicting the potential winner of the forthcoming presidential election of Somaliland is premature, faulty, and at times, an embarrassment of a life time.
In deed now is the time for a positive change in the political landscape; time for fresh new faces without a certified clean bill of no previous political liabilities such as plunders, mishaps, and failures; time for an infusion of new blood to invigorate the lackluster politics of our nation.
Against the backdrop of the worst political plunder of Kulmiye party, let us evaluate the recent foray of the Second Deputy of the parliament to his native region. At the time of the nominations for the new National Electoral Commission, Mr. Bashe Mohamed Farah and other Deputies and Ministers from Sool had a private meeting with Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, the Chairman of Kulmiye party. The discussion was centered on the one Kulmiye nominee to the National Elections Commission and it was mutually agreed that the nominee will be from Sool.
The next day, and without prior notice to Mr. Bashe and the other MPs, the deal collapsed; a junior cashier at Dahabshil Establishment was declared the party's nominee to the Commission. This scandalous event infuriated Mr.Bashe and the MPs from Sool. The ruling party wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation- President Riyale appointed Mr. Garad, a member of the disbanded Commission, as a Minister of state for Education- a ceremonial portfolio, but a government position, none the less. Mr. Bashe's recent visit to Las Anod did not shore up the party's overall rating. The same thing goes for Maroodi Jeex and Awdal regions.
Chairman Ahmed's clandestine meetings with the elders of Togdheer Clans was against the party protocol and spirit of the democratization of Somaliland. If the electorate is resoundingly pro-Kumiye at this point as Dr. Omar states, why did the Honourable chairman resort to the good old clan politics of the past without the presence of the party Executives! Accountability and transparency is two way street; the leadership of the national political parties is no exception to this cardinal law!
In the United Kingdom, Canada and the rest of the western democracies, the fundamental freedoms of the individual had been incorporated into their constitutions for centuries and we expect our nascent democracy to follow suite. In other words, we hold our government accountable for any constitutional transgressions;any denial of our civil and political liberties or any tampering with the judiciary is unacceptable. The rule of law is for all. The incarceration any individual for his/her political views or the expression thereof of these freedoms is an affront to the Universal declaration of Human Rights as incorporated into the Charters of the United Nations Organisation, the African Union, and the European Union.
In spite of the fact of the incarceration of the journalists, the government's appalling records in manipulating the interpretation of the constitution, the absence of certified audited accounts of the national budget for the past six years, and the failure of government to submit all agreements and treaties with foreign governments as stipulated by our constitution, the two opposition parties failed to capitalise on these opportunities on a sustainable basis. Fact or fiction! In real politics, one strike out and you are out for good. There is no second chance to reinvent yourself.
The game of numbers is immaterial in the coming election; if anything, this issue is rather inconsequential. An unsecured US$300.00 Million worth of investment and the associated infrastructure raises a lot of questions. so far the government has not tabled the details of the project and we will leave it at that! The electorate is looking for serious issues of substance on the campaign trail . If the party's election platform is long on generalities but short on specifics will not strike a chord with the electorate. With the exception of the intervention of De vine Providence, none of the three national parties have a winning strategy in hand.
In conclusion and based on Dr. Omar's assumptions and conclusions the picture is not rosy. Making all other things equal, the essay deliberately left out two essential factors: Electability and New leaders. Had Dr. Omar included them in the analysis, it would have been a sure recipe for winning and to that effect, Omar's " rewriting of the long overdue inaugural speech " for his leader of choice is premature. The electorate is serious anticipating change of the old guard!
Long Live Somaliland,
Ahmed Ali Ibrahim Sabeyse