“Since we are Canadian, we know how democracy works. We feel important as Somalis with the privilege of living in Canada to have our interests represented,” said Dualeh Abdulkadir, director of security and Somaliland community service.
The event will present the party’s agenda, fundraise for the upcoming election in early 2013 and ask attendees to engage in Canadian community and not to behave in ways that might jeopardize safety in Canada. Much of Somaliland’s economy relies on relatives living abroad and most maintain dual citizenship.
The party’s Canadian branch chairman Mohamed Farah Xareed said the party is deciding among a few options in Ottawa’s east end for the location of the office, but is seeking to motivate supporters and showcase the healthy democratic atmosphere of Somaliland at the rally.
No matter which party Somalis living abroad support, the state needs international recognition, Xareed said.
“With our achievements in democracy in the last 20 years, we count on Canada to take the lead (in recognizing Somaliland),” he said.
Rallies like the one on Saturday, Abdulkadir said, show the strength and seriousness Somalis invest in elections. The organizers estimate 200 people will show up for the event and expect it to last around four hours.
By Karen Chen, The Ottawa Citizen