Whether the critics like it or not, President Silanyo is set to cruise to an easy victory in Somaliland’s forthcoming presidential election next year. He will easily win another five-year term in office partly because the opposition parties are unfocussed, fragmented and largely ineffectual, and partly because the public opinion is firmly on the president’s side.
Despite the vicious and relentless daily attacks on Silanyo’s leadership, the recent KULMIYE crisis that gripped the country has shown that the president continues to enjoy undiminished public support until now whatever his detractors may say of him. And mind you, he has not even begun to showcase the dazzling historic achievements under his belt that no president has ever had in Somaliland’s history.
If there was any discernable menace to Silanyo’s presidency, the biggest threat came when Musa Bihi, the party chairman, Hassan Saeed, the Secretary General and Mohamed Kahin, the Deputy Chairman were all briefly united as party rebels. But that was a short-lived moment of happiness and hope for the rebels and the excitement soon fizzled out and no one is talking about it now.
If the trio were to stick together as a team a little longer, it would have been impossible for the government to hold any KULMIYE meetings or even to run the day-to-day business of the party without the Chairman or Secretary General. Indeed, the government would have been in dire political straits had it failed to convince Hassan Saeed to switch sides.
When the government successfully snatched Hassan Saeed right from the jaws of the party rebels, the game was essentially over. That was the moment when, for all practical purposes, Bihi’s rebellion was stopped dead in its tracks.
In a nutshell, Hassan Saeed was the man who singlehandedly saved the government.
When the Guurti came up with its three-point plan to end the conflict between the two sides, the two former military colonels, Bihi and Kahin, have already been disarmed by Hassan Saeed, the former Editor-in-Chief of Jamhuuriya- the Somali Language Daily.
Bihi and his comrade-in-arms, Kahin, had no choice but to swallow the bitter pill by accepting the Guurti’s final verdict. There were no other good options available to them.
Try as he might, Bihi knew very well that he won’t be crowned with the presidential nomination of KULMIYE party because the odds were heavily stacked against him. Any honest political observer will acknowledge that.
Even if Silanyo were to give Bihi a blank paper and told him to select and jot down the names of his own Central Committee members, Musa would still lose against Silanyo in the party’s presidential nomination contest– that’s how overwhelmingly the odds are still ranged against Musa.
Contrary to the popular belief, it is not simply true that KULMIYE is literally
split into two camps. To put it simply, it is two men namely Musa Bihi and Mohamed Kahin Vs. the rest of KULMIYE party members. It doesn’t take a rocket science to understand which side is the underdog.
The crude reality is that Bihi was not banking on to unseat an incumbent president of his own party for he knew quite well from the very beginning that this was not going to fly. However, what many people do not realize is the fact that Bihi’s long-shot presidential bid was based on the assumption that Silanyo would step down after his first term in office and then would endorse Bihi’s presidential bid to the hilt. This is precisely the reason why Bihi launched his presidential bid from the BBC Radio [Somali Service] platform. It was a staggering miscalculation on the part of Bihi.
Now that the dust has finally settled, it appears that Bihi forgot the wise farmers’ rule: don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.
Bihi never thought in his wildest dreams that Silanyo would throw his hat into the ring. Far from it, he thought that Silanyo would, in fact, put all his weight behind his presidential bid. The brutal truth however dawned on him when Silanyo officially announced via a pre-recorded video that he would seek a second term in office.
Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”.
Bihi can at least take some comfort from the fact that he has shown not only the courage to stand up and speak but also the courage to sit down and listen. It was the right and honourable thing to ultimately accept the final verdict of the Somaliland Elders.