By Ahmed Kheyre
The Somaliland National Party, Waddani, has a new recruit. Former UCID presumptive vice-presidential candidate Abdirashid Hassan Matan has signed up with Waddani. After resigning from UCID, Abdirashid has decided to throw his lot in with Waddani. Does this signal the end of UCID has a serious political party?
First of all, with Abdirashid’s move to Waddani it is quite clear, there is no ideological difference between any of the current Somaliland political parties. It is all about personalities and personal advancement.
A good acquaintance of mine has been a member of UDUB, UCID and now Kulmiye, where he holds a senior ministerial position. And if Waddani, where to win the next election, no doubt after a period of reflection, for the sake of appearances, he will no doubt join Waddani too. He is a talented person, with much to offer Somaliland, although some people, uncharitably, consider him a hustler. I use this example to highlight the lack of idealogical distinction between the Somaliland’s political parties.
It is true that the overwhelming majority of Somalilanders believe in and support the nation’s ambition for international de-jure recognition, and since all Somaliland politicians support this cause, and all parties are committed to it, then if there is no idealogical differences between them, why not have a single party?
Such a suggestion is anathema to Somalilanders. Not because of the destructive association with the one “party” socialist system during the ill-fated union with Somalia, but, a single party is not a democracy.
Should Somaliland have a two party political system, much like the United States; a right of centre Republican and a left of centre Democratic?
Should we ignore the constitution and open the doors for a plethora of parties based on community, locale and other unsavoury ties?
I raise these question because, UCID has always prided itself on being the welfare and justice party. Created to speak for the poor, the downtrodden and disfranchised, has become a one man party.
For all his substantial abilities, Faisal Ali Warabe, is a political animal who is holding his party hostage. Three times, he ran as a presidential candidate, and three times he was rejected by the voters of Somaliland. Yet, because UCID, which barely came through the last local council elections to secure its mandate for the next ten years, is basically, his meal ticket, he refuses to pass the baton to the younger cadres of the party. And the irony of ironies, the very stalwarts who helped UCID to emerge as a national party are deserting in droves.
UCID is a national party, with a license to operate as a national party and receives a paltry subsidy from state coffers. It has offices and branches all across Somaliland and abroad. However, if Faisal’s machinations have driven away one prospective Somaliland leader, then the presumptive presidential candidate, Jamal Ali Hussein, has been left to twist in the wind.
It is now clear, the only two political parties that matter in Somaliland are Kulmiye and Waddani. UCID is no longer relevant, and for the next ten years, it will remain irrelevant on the national stage.
Allaa Mahad Leh