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Somaliland’s Democracy: Is The Major Issue In Doubt Now?
Assuming that participatory democracy is the key to the future of any post conflict society and injustice being the root cause of societal fragmentation, Somaliland’s current administration turned our criminal justice system the laughing stock of the world community. The sorry state of our judiciary is a manifestation of the incompetence of the current government. Our government is entrusted to enact and maintain the laws of our country. The government is the custodian of our rights and freedoms and it shoulder its responsibilities.
The detention of Hatuf Media Group journalists, the incarceration of Qaran leadership, government’s overthrow of SHURONET board of directors, and the endless squabbling over the appointment of the National Elections Commission were some of memorable events of 2007. Our Constitution vests to much power in the hands of the president. With a president predisposed to authoritarian tendencies, the result is the current disaster. A presidential system of government is not suitable to Somaliland. What we need is a true parliamentary democracy where the powers and authority of each branch of government is clearly demarcated. Our nation needs a new breed of leaders who can effect true change in the affairs of the country- a bold new initiative to make our government accountable to the masses.
In the case of Qaran leadership, the application of article 101, para. 2a of the outdated Somali Penal Code on matters of civil litigation is tantamount to nothing but trivialisation of our constitution. The Penal Code of the defunct Somali Republic is a derivative of the Italian fascist government of the 1920-1940. Are these laws compatible with our cultural values? The applicability of these laws is questionable. "Any legislation without criminal penalties is not a law" is a laughable joke! The exercising of one's political rights is not a criminal offense and any efforts to use draconian measures to silence the opposition will sure backfire.
The coup against the SHURONET was irresponsible and uncalled for. The ministers of the interior and justice have no mandate to regulate the affairs of the human right organisations. Justice and interior are the worst two ministries in Somaliland in terms of performance and delivery of services.
Our minister of information translated the Yemen Law No. 25 of December 22, 1990[Press and Publications Law] into Somali Language and bill is now in the House of Representatives for ratification. This is not a media law and I hope our MPs will throw out this garbage. Please click this link to access the contents of the Somaliland Media gag law: http://www.al-bab.com/yemen/gov/off4.htm, http://www.somalilandlaw.com/
A Corrupted police hierarchy and a broken judicial system have given Somali Landers another chance to reassess their options in the coming municipal and presidential elections. The masses have an opportunity to evaluate these options relative to the competence and credibility of those dealing with matters of public interest. Our government has lost bearing at it is time to steer it back to the right course. The only way to do that is through the ballot box in the coming elections.
The Government and the opposition parties are interested in scoring partisan points rather than promoting the interest of Somaliland. Of course, it backfired, there’s’ an old saying:
“Never start a kicking match with a kangaroo “That is what the Government and opposition parties do all the time. The opposition parties have no political platform to galvanise the support of the masses other than levelling accusations against the government. The opposition parties are equally not accountable to any one. Transparency and accountability is applicable to all; the opposition should practice what they breach.
All politicians whether they are in government or opposition did nothing for the country except exchanging politics of the spleen and divisive arguments between them, always delivering childish statements. “I’m not saying Liars, but I want to be on the record saying that I don’t believe you.” To make a point, they should articulate their periodic barbs in a more civilized or meaningful way. Our destiny is to show that Somaliland can be a model for the troubled region, increasingly, challenged by the religious and sectarian friction and environmental Catastrophe.
We need a bold and visionary national leadership to inspire us to confidently take on the world and convey a sense of forward motion. We need a leader that inspires Somali Lander’s once again to believe that those in public life can translate rhetoric into action. We need a government that governs for the Somaliland people, and that brings forward initiatives with clarity and conviction.
In conclusion wake up and exercise your democratic rights by casting your vote in the coming election, otherwise expect a future that is not much different than what we have in Somaliland today. We need pragramatic leaders who can enforce the law, not a feeble character who pretends to be above the law.
I would like to say thank you to the people of Somaliland who devoted themselves to keep the peace and made the progress and the prosperity we have in Somaliland today.
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