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Sunday, July 5, 2015

The need for new blood in Somaliland politics

Medeshi- Somaliland’s fledgling democracy is being hijacked by greedy and defunct politicians who are not fit to lead the nation. These men have no respect for rule of law and are inciting hatred and violence among the Somaliland public. A good example of this is the recent attack in which an innocent MP was beaten badly by the presidential guards  inflicting severe bodily harm on him.

Politicians who worked under the deposed government of Dictator Siyad Barre dominate the current political scene. Most of these politicians have continued with the same oppressive political vision as the previous government, which was marred by lack of free speech and other human rights abuses.

All three political party leaders have been at the head of their party since the first  Somaliland presidential election in 2002. Why has no one given a chance for new people to rise to the top and come up with fresh ideas? It seems these political leaders view the parties as their own property, which they refuse to hand over.

Politicians are using clan lineage to mobilize support; as a result certain clans support only the party led by somebody from their lineage. This is not democracy, but clan politics. It is worse than the Somali tribalism of previous years, where nepotism was common and violence prevailed. For example Somaliland elders were most times able to solve the tribal conflicts under the shade of a tree while the current clan politics pays little attention to this wise practice of Somaliland elders.

The people of Somaliland are suffering, due to drought, food shortages and lack of education and health services. (See: http://www.medeshivalley.com/2010/08/sanaagland-neglected-by-its-own-people.html)

Meanwhile, Hargeisa-based political parties waste time on power struggle. The ruling party uses the excuse of the non-functioning voter registration server and the opposition parties accuse the government of prolonging the voter registration process to buy more time.

The background of the leaders of the three main political parties in Somaliland raises questions about whether Somalilanders are in need of new blood. It seems that these party leaders simply are not willing to give up power and allow others a chance to lead the nation. Somaliland should be saved from leaders that are putting their interests before those of their country. Tribalism and clan rivalry should be set aside at this critical stage. Somaliland needs and deserves political leaders with fresh new visions of the future.