An Eye on Somaliland Kulmiye Political Party’s Final Standoff

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IMG_0007 (2)Somaliland political landscape is about to take a drastic shift and shape, as Kulmiye the current ruling political party braces to advance into a final standoff, of nominating its presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

Kulmiye party barely managed to wrap up its national party convention, without any change to its leadership. In this convention Kulmiye artistically if not deceptively dodged the bullet of disarray, after engaging in aggressive arm-twisting and behind the scene deals. Eventually the party came out triumphantly through this phase, and with not a single challenge to the incumbent stalwarts. The convention apparently winded-up with maintenance of the status quo.

Following the conclusion of the convention and even before the dust settled, and the excited political junkies could enliven the public with vicarious analysis and predictions, came out the announcement by the Kulmiye chairman Mr. Muse Bihi, saying come rain or shine he is resolved to run for the presidential nomination on a Kulmiye ticket. Within no time followed a counter announcement by the Kulmiye government information minister stating that due to public demand, the current president is for sure going to run for a second term as granted by the law.

While the many pundits in the Somali peninsula politics were caught little unaware in the timing of these announcements, the fact remains that if all comes to pass and  with all seriousness political swords are drawn, there is no doubt that political landscape in this part of the world will take a dramatic shift.

 I meant to say with all seriousness, as it seems the Kulmiye pro incumbency political architects have  many a times proved to be proactively tactful in the art of taming spoilers of their well thought plots. The case of Hassan Gaafadhi vs Mohamed Kaahin is enough to shade some doubts in the seriousness of the brewing confrontations.

 While Somali politics and clan alliances are known to be inextricably entwined, in this particular case both the incumbent president and the ambitious party chairman, are in between a rock and a hard place. For one the incumbent head of state, with his incumbency advantage can easily dismiss the challenge and set the stage for the nomination. With the situational advantage the election results would play to his favor. However without the blessings of Chairman Musa. President Silaanyo would have to employ a genius tribal calculus, if at all to maintain or at least free his fate from the traditional Gabiley, Caynabo alliance which is a Kulmiye essential life support for the upcoming general election

Likewise, Chairman Musa is at a critical stage and at a point of no return. With all due respect I see Musa’s situation the same as choosing between the devil and the deep blue see. If Musa goes ahead and challenge the incumbency he surely going to lose, on the other hand if he swallows the pride and let the incumbency have its way, he is likely going to lose the respect and trust from his Gabiley base, not mentioning that his chairmanship position would also be insignificant and vulnerable as well. The final Option for Musa is to jump the Kulmiye ship for one of the other two existing political parties. If for once Musa would have to decide to throw his weight behind his kin, Jamal Ali Hussein of the opposition UCID party, then the unsettled grey area within UCID party needs to be cleared first. This grey area lies with the pioneering founder of UCID Engineer Feisal Warabe, not yet officially signing off the candidacy torch to the youthful intellect. Even if it happens that Jamal would be the candidate, still the Berbera, Gabiley alliance is not as productive and potent enough of a formula, fitting the equation to stir the needed clan calculus to the opposition favor

The other option yet unlikely choice, would be for Musa to side with “Waddani” the last of the political parties, headed by none other than Abdirahman Cirro. This is one move that may account to be a scary situation for the incumbency squad, and would surely cost Silaanyo camp many sleepless nights. It’s unlikely because the option is burdened with lots of uneasiness for Musa. Importantly the lingering shadows of the memorable internal skirmishes in the early periods, after Somaliland declared to dissolve the ill-fated union with Somalia. This was in the early period of the late Ibrahim Egaal administration. In the fracas Musa took a giant role in the crushing of the rebellion led by the Oodweyne block, who are currently solidly behind one of their own, Mr. Abdirahman Cirro of the Waddani political party and at the same time incumbent speaker of the parliament. The issue here is that Musa Bihi was heard employing the Somali quote that goes “Anigoo wax dili Kara duco qaadan maayo”. Albeit the conundrums, Kulmiye incumbency with its all Machiavellian technique, needs to bear in mind the famous Somali adage “Rag ciil, Cadaabta ka dooray, at times desperate situations warrants unpredictable solutions.

If at all Chairman Muse manages to join the Waddani ship and convince his base to recalibrate the traditional alliance of Gabiley, Caynabo alliance to Gabiley, Oodweyne alliance the political landscape is sure to take a dramatic shift in a big way. The equation may look something like this.

This is just but my opinion I might be dead wrong in my analysis but all in all I would like to leave the following quote for Chairman Musa to ponder.

 There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

By, Soren Kierkegaard

Abdirahman Dhunjoog , MN, USA

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