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All Current Somaliland Ills Squarely Rest On The Shoulders Of Its Inept MPs
Exactly 33 months ago this spring, the people of Somaliland again made history by peacefully electing its first freely elected (MPs) members of parliament. And with hope and enthusiasm everyone said to himself/herself “qarkaa qar dheh” or now consider this part done! And so, with big relief even those of us who live overseas congratulated Somaliland for a job well done and congratulated each other.
In fact, a lot of congratulatory cables, calls and articles were sent to everywhere including our websites and even to the MPs themselves.
For instance, I personally wrote:
“….We urge you, Your Excellencies (MPs) to work together by consulting with one another to reach a compromise….We urge you, Your Excellencies to formulate a policy that will protect the primary pillars of democracy which, if it is to function properly and effectively, needs checks and balances! We urge you, Your Excellencies to realize that establishing those checks and balances are the primary tools that ensure transparency, accountability and respect of the rule of law which must be upheld and protected! And we urge you, Your Excellencies to understand that it is a requirement from all of you that you be tolerant, accommodating and sacrificing………!”
Moreover, in other paragraphs of my congratulatory articles I wrote “....Your Excellencies, it is a requirement that you give the nation a law above which no one exists and below which all are equal. It is a requirement you, Your Excellencies, establish a law that is too powerful for any one to break it. It is a requirement that you, Your Excellencies, establish a law that protects the poor and the weak and punishes perpetrators….. Give the nation a law that becomes a model for all Africa. Give the nation a law that makes Somaliland the role model of democracy! Give the nation a law that is even too superior to that of the United States because in that, despite its marvels, the wealthy beats it by exploiting its inherent loopholes. So, give the nation a law that beats even money which often pollutes mankind and his environment. And give the nation a law that establishes all the bases for a nation to prosper in peace and development…!”
Unfortunately, 33 months later, it is said that nothing of that sort had happened. And surprisingly it is said that not even a fraction of the laws they were mandated to establish have been drafted let alone discussed and passed. So, today, it is as a result of this ineptitude, opportunism and/or indifference of the majority of the MPs that law and order in poor Somaliland seems to have collapsed.
In fact, it is sad to hear that many MPs spend the majority of their time in their overseas other countries and hence place their loyalty elsewhere completely indifferent to what might happen to poor Somaliland. It is also sad and unfortunate to hear that many others respect neither the traditional Somali xeer (traditional law) culture nor see anything binding them and hence bend everything to their personal liking. And sadly it is said the nation’s MPs prefer personal interests to nation building!
But sorry, had the MPs taken control of the destiny of the nation by taking care of their mandate; had they put their loyalty in poor Somaliland; had they passed new laws that protect the achievements of poor Somaliland or amended those in place to fit the national needs, neither the seemingly self-crowning Gurti (traditional law upholders) nor the president would have dared to play wittingly with the law and would have automatically extended their terms in office.
So, Now One May Ask:
To date, president Riyale is in office for 72 months and assuming the one more year extension of the president’s term passed by the Gurti remains in effect, who is there to guarantee that municipal and presidential elections will be held on time after one year?
Who is there to guarantee that those “lone smart” same Gurti members themselves will not crown themselves again for an nth term and hence become the hereditary House of Gurtis similar to the House of Lords of the UK after all are not they the same Gurti who is in office since the birth of Somaliland 17 years ago?
And what is that miraculous thing that the president will do in 12 months that he could not do in 72 months?
What credible justification is there for a national leader to bombard war, hunger, poverty and famine weary public with scores of empty artificial slogans and promises for new Regions and districts, when in reality even those put in place years ago are found to be economically unsustainable?
Is it not far more bizarre to hear that some groups have even suggested that the president should get another five year term without elections? Personally I would have no problem with that, but those of you who advocate for that should also advocate removing the term democracy from our constitutional lexicon and call poor Somaliland a monarchy!
And is it not even stranger to hear that, it is only those same groups who seem to be deliberately destroying the whole destiny of poor Somaliland?
But to those of you who care poor Somaliland, it is necessary to remind you that it is a high time that you realize that it is the whole destiny of poor Somaliland that is at stake! And it is a high time that the diaspora urge their elected representatives to take responsibility and save the country.