By Ahmed Kheyre
The political dispute within UCID, between presumptive presidential candidate Jamal Ali Hussein and party chair, Faisal Ali Warabe, which led to the resignation of former presumptive vice-presidential candidate, Abdirashid Hassan Matan and the erosion of all its support and credibility appears to have been resolved by a community elders.
Once again, it is clear that Somaliland has not politically moved on from community issues.
UCID is a national party, open to all, and if a political party is to be legitimate and serious, it must get away from community issues. What are a group of elders doing mediating between two politicians in a national political party?
These elders are not party members, and this is not about “mag” or “xaal”, or whatever it is they do. Somaliland is a mature political democracy, and they should keep out of these affairs.
In its infancy the Somaliland state needed such guidance and assistance from the community elders, and the House of Elders “Guurti” bears witness to their continuing vital role, but this is an internal party issue, it has nothing to do with community issues. Or does it?
Are our political parties truly national? Or do they belong to certain groups in certain communities and we just avert our eyes from the truth? By involving community elders in internal political party issues, we validate these assumptions and accusations.
It has happened with UDUB, Kulmiye, UCID, and it will happen with Waddani. If Somaliland is to be taken seriously we must separate community issues from democratic politics.
As for those who invited or requested the mediation of the elders, then they have no place in a mature democratic arena. They should confine themselves to basic community issues.
Jamal Ali Hussein and Faisal Ali Warabe should have settled their dispute among the party membership and in front of the Somaliland voters, not over a free lunch organized for a venerable group of community elders.
Our democratic future must be about policies, plans, aims and goals to move the nation forward, to appeal to the voters and reassure our international partners and stakeholders. It should not based on the old tired cliché of “you scratch my back and I will return the “hagbad”.
I had hoped that UCID’s new generation will lead the way and open a new political era, but, as long as we keep doing the same old, same old, it will be very difficult to move forward.