- When president Silanyo has called for the immediate creation of the committee which will advise the president (after consultation with the public) whether the country needs the creation of new political parties, he was sticking to his words at the time of the Kulmiye campaign when he said he will give the green light for new political parties. But many, in the old political parties, did not feel at ease with the president’s decision but rather kept a stiff upper lip the whole time that this process of consultation was underway.
The vast majority of the public knew of what the outcome of the committee’s consultation would be and when the committee eventually announced their verdict, the president has bravely put the stamp of approval and declared that the country is open for new political parties. Yacnii Al-miidaan Waasac. Again, some in the old parties who insincerely used to pay lip service to the creation of new political parties took another blow which gravely dented their self-esteem.
Soon after the president announced the formation of the National Political Parties Registration Committee, the campaign for the people’s hearts and minds has already began in earnest. Thanks to this small committee which scrutinised and checked all would-be political parties and which recently announced that 15 would-be political parties have completed the first stage of the Somaliland political marathon. Each party has paid a non-refundable deposit of £25.000 USA Dollars. Each party has also disclosed their interim leader and main contact members of the party.
What is the next stage now? Before I proceed to how and what I think the next stage would be, I want to clearly say that so far no one has stirred controversy with the way that things are going on. Even with Somaliland’s local rights groups reported no complaints from anyone whose interest is in the politics of Somaliland. Likewise, I am impressed and reassured by the registration team and the head of the mission (Abdulrisak Aiyale) that the second stage will even become far better than the first stage.
For this process to happen in the presence of so many young Somaliland generations who are under 30 years old has attracted the pleasure and acceptance of all Somaliland people and it obviously negates the purpose of dictatorship. This is giving the president an absolute satisfactory for his leadership under the eyes and ears of the Somaliland people. Some may say to me, it is too early to judge the success of the team, which is scheduled to remain in office until the Somaliland local government elections are completed. I say to them: Hooray! Cheer up man. So far so good.
The next stage – I was told – is that each party would have to have one thousand members in each of the Somaliland’s 6 old regions. I am not sure how this will be possible for all the new parties. Furthermore, each party would need to declare its central committee members as well as its executive members. Each party will need to hold its first congress meeting. It will be a blatant violation to the team’s protocol if the new parties do not meet these second stage criteria.
The registration team will closely watch the media for any attempts that may mislead the public for the purpose of favouring for any particular party. The team will not accept lies and fabrications from regional party representatives who claim that their parties have one thousand member supporters without evidence to prove.
Now we have 15 new would-be parties and 3 old parties and together they make up 18 parties. The real battle will soon start with Somaliland’s 6 major cities and their sub-districts. As marketing researchers say winning an election is all about selling your brand and that brand needs better look good.
If you talk to young people in Somaliland you hear stories like this “A presidential hopeful’s appearance can be crucial to election outcomes. Whether sporting a slick, classic hairstyle or showing a commanding bit of gray, and whether the candidate looks scholarly or masculine, can all impact the young Somaliland voter perceptions.”
Nowadays, Somaliland’s young voters look at pictures of opposing candidates in the elections and indicate which candidate appeared more competent, more intelligent, more likable and more trustworthy. It does not matter if the candidate is well-known, said Mahamed Jama who lives in Borama. Only a minority of young voters come to choose their candidate with preconceived notions of each candidate.
I have been spending a great deal of time lately thinking about who the next president of Somaliland should be. What are the qualities we want for someone who represents all of us and our values? We are looking for someone who is wise enough to bring in a team of intelligent, dedicated people who can support his/her ideals and stand for this great nation. But the dilemma is that every party leader is now saying I am the next president and I have whatever quality that people are looking for.
I strongly believe that this will be the year Somaliland sees the world and the world sees Somaliland. It must be the year we go for it – the year that our government led by president Silanyo does everything it takes to get our country up to strength.
The coming months will bring the Somaliland drama of the local government elections and the glory of the Somaliland recognition. Cameras and TV channels around Somaliland and elsewhere will be recording these magnificent events. It gives us an extraordinary incentive to look outward, look onwards and to look our best: to feel pride in who we are and what – even in these trying times – we can achieve.
Of course I know that there will be many people who are worried about what else the year might bring. There are fears about lack of jobs and the sky rocketing inflation which leads the staple food price to an affordable level for many in Somaliland. The search for work is difficult, particularly for young people and rising prices have hit household budgets in Hargaisa, Borama, Burao, Las Anod and elsewhere. Who is going to take action on all these fronts? I know how difficult it will be to get through this. But I also know that we will. We need a brave, confident and decisive leader who can build the future of this young nation. We do not need empty and hollow rhetoric.
Because I am so confused with all these 18 party leaders, this short-lived enthusiasm and fever (I am the next president) in Somaliland has struck me too in my office in Birmingham, England. For that reason, I decided to run for presidency. Hold on man, the presidential election is in 2015, and we are in 2012, oh I see. What is all this fuss about then? These party leaders want people to form an opinion about them long before the elections. Well, people can judge me as well before the elections. What can you do for the people of Somaliland? Well, me?
I am determined to do the bold things it will take to sort out public services, too. Too often our schools aren’t up to scratch, our hospitals aren’t always clean enough and our police don’t catch criminals like those who murdered in Seemaal village. Brilliant and committed people work in public services – but somehow the system stops them doing their job. So I will change it.
I know that our economy is relatively struggling and steadfastly growing. There are huge opportunities for our businesses all over the planet. I’m determined to get out there and seize them.
I will be bold about working to cure the problems of our society. I profoundly believe that I can turn these things around. That’s what I mean by the Somaliland is a realty not a dream. The Somaliland people have got what it takes and I have got the ideas and policies we need.
Finally, in every area of life I will find success by being honest with ourselves about the problems, and practical about what lies ahead. I know that if we lift our eyes to the other side we have it in our power to come through this stronger, better balanced, focused on what this fantastic country does best.
Please vote for me in 2015!
Long Live Somaliland
Ahmed Ali Aden