Challenges Ahead of Somaliland’s New President


The new president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi will be inaugurated as fifth president on 13 December, after his victory of a tight contest with the country’s two opposition candidates but ultimately a legitimate election when his main challenger, Abdurrahman Irro conceded a defeat and calls for national unity. The election of the new president in Somaliland has attracted the eyes and attention of the neighboring countries as well as the international community. Thus, his inauguration is believed to be a tribute to democratic presidential election that took place peacefully in the country last month but to overcome many challenges is an examination for the new president elected.


The international election mission congratulated the way, the election was performed by Somaliland government in collaboration with the local citizens for whom, nothing could have been successfully done without their support and thanks to Somaliland citizens, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the political parties for doing their responsibility and  commitment  that led the peaceful poll into a positive conclusion by electing a competent leader expected to solve many domestic social problems.


The challenges that are ahead of the new president could be internal and external issues. However, the domestic challenges are uniting the people after many clans fragmented into groups during the election campaign, dealing with inflation, poverty, poor healthcare, education, corruption, silence of the rule of law and tremendous youth unemployment which are all  threats to social stability and peace.


Additionally, one of the most politically awaited challenge for the new president is the implementation of Khatumo agreement with Somaliland that will pave the way for a lasting peaceful existence in the country and will also fortify the national cohesion and the solidarity of Somalilanders at last in which the outgoing president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) signed on October, 20th in Anaibo, Saraar region. The agreement is centered on five main principles such as national unity, power-sharing, living together in peace, national development and uniting against all external threats. 


The external challenges are also included by the long waited pending recognition of Somaliland   depending on the new design; the president comes with talks between Somaliland and Somalia, the improvement of current poor diplomatic relations with African Union, Arab Muslim countries and the international partners to Somaliland which was worsened by the successive delays of country’s elections.


Finally, the new president is expected to form a clean government free from corruption as well as strengthening the relationship with the UAE  that signed  a contract of $ 442 million investment project with Somaliland that was highly politicized but now the new president will also have the opportunity to improve it and gain the confidence of the nation showing them that the project implementation will be transparent to make the country a hub of economic development in the Horn of Africa and the rest of the world.


(Muse Jeeh, Freelance writer Hargeisa, Somaliland).


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