We Somalilanders will to learn a lesson from Ghana’s historic election that celebrated across the continent. Next March, Somaliland’s presidential election may coincide with her big south neighbor, the troubling Somalia’s ‘mock election’. Over the past seven years, Somaliland witnessed toleration of corruption, maladministration, and security decline.
In the last municipal elections, only government appointees won in the seats of the local government. Close to quarter million people who casted their vote were phony according to independent observers. Now, the National Election Commission NEC printed out voter cards for collection. The ruling party manufactured polling stations out of nowhere to boost their voters. All these election frauds committed by the same Election Commission who will be in charge of the next presidential elections.
The ruling presidential candidate has a little support as revealed by nationwide pollsters vs. the opposition party Wadani leader’s grassroots support that transcends across the clannish spectrum. Finance Minister Samsam, called Ahmed Farax sub clans to blindly vote for her cousin Muse Bihi not on merits of his record—because he’s far from it— but on the clannish alliances between them that goes back to 50s during Michael Mariano.
Hargaysa, Somaliland capital, voters registration had low turnout because the voters thought the Kulmye’s mismanagement of election doesn’t worth the votes if Kulmiye party will remain in power for the next five years with fraud of double voting as it did in the municipal elections. Muse of Kulmiye’s candidate and the government threatened school students can’t sit in national exams unless registered for voting.
Nevertheless, the question is who’s gonna coerce registered voters to cast their vote in the next presidential election? The water supply maybe cut off to force voters to turn out in massive numbers in the election day perhaps in favor of the ruling party candidate! None knows. Somaliland ministers went to Dubai for DP World payment in advance for the Berbera port management contract. Independent Western observers fear that funds maybe used in favor of the ruling election campaign.
Various professional, amateur segments of the society formed alliances to dislodge the ruling party. International partners of Somaliland needs credible partner that manages the presidential election and so far, the world is wary of “the intentions’ of the ruling party. “Will the opposition Wadani accept the outcome?” said Deputy Commander of Kulmiye ruling party Mohamed Kahin. These remarks worry voters and it sounds as he predetermined the result.
American institution helped establish fingerprint, and eye identification for voters to prevent from adding phony voters to the system and from government manipulation of polling counts, however, the chance for adding fake voters to the data in outlying districts is highly likely. Somaliland needs genuine change of presidential elections where that would hopefully earns the world election body admiration much like Ghana’s.
Dirye Is Somaliland Activist, a member of Anti Corruption International API, Mrdirye@gmail.com
By:Abdirahman M. Dirye