The word ‘voter’ is the citizen eligible to vote in the elections and ‘registration’ is the process of registering or being registered name of the eligible citizen in voter roll. Voting is the right of all eligible citizens to participate in the affairs of their government and is one of the cornerstones of Democracy.
To ensure for citizens to exercise their democratic right to vote there must be a comprehensive and inclusive electoral register; and this is carefully maintained in Somaliland by the National Election Commission (NEC), where each eligible citizen is registered biometrically to vote once and only once in the election to avoid duplication.
The broadest trends in voter registration turnout in the history of the eastern regions of Somaliland (Sool and Buhodle) have been determined in the current registration of voters in Somaliland. NEC opened more than 100 polling stations across the two regions, and first-hand reports indicated long queues at the stations waiting to register and the estimated registered voters would easily cross 50,000.
Such huge voter registration turnout indicate that people of eastern regions of Somaliland realized the importance of participating in Somaliland political system, and that Somaliland is the motherland, in addition to that people of Sool and Buuhoodle recognized the falsified theory of “Somaliweyn”.
Somaliland government, led by President Siilaanyo, engaged in open and inclusive political dialogue with opposition in the eastern parts of the country, in order to end the disagreements and accelerate the development of the regions. The government of Somaliland introduced 2% increase on tax in the country, in order to support the eastern regions of Somaliland, who are behind other regions in development due to political rift.
Somaliland terminated all military operations in the region and persuaded chief tribes known ‘GARAD’ to join in the democratic political system in the country. In their side, the GARADs realized that armed struggle won’t lead to any settlement.
Recently, the leader of KHAATUMO Administration Ali Khalif Galaydh unveiled that he is seeking peace with Republic of Somaliland, following years of protracted hostility in Buhodle Region of Somaliland. Galaydh disclosed the peace talks during an interview with BBC Somali Service, saying that his administration need to take part in Somaliland’s democracy. KHAATUMO held first round of meeting with Somaliland officials at Aynaba City. Another grand meeting is scheduled to take place in Burco City, where KHAATUMO will integrate in the Somaliland political system.
The elected President of Somaliland Mr. Siilaanyo formed national committee that is leading the peace negotiation with KHAATUMO, in order to settle the disagreements.
Somaliland Minister of Information, who is also member of the committee, Mr. Osman Sahardiid said the president has formed a national level committee for the talks with Khaatumo, this committee contains government ministers and cultural leaders, and they are people who are all determined to engage in successful talks, Dr. Ali Khalif and his colleagues have chosen the right path and that was a brave decision for them to recognize that their people are Somalilanders and will always be, for them to realize that the best interest of all Somalilanders lies in peace and tranquility rather than conflict.
The minister added after those talks are completed successfully and productively in a way that pleases all Somalilanders and the members of Khaatumo state we hope to have a conference attended by all the different members of the Dhulbahante clan in Hargeisa, or even where they are or pleases everyone.
He went on saying “Speaking on behalf of the president and his government I affirm the president’s commitment in addressing and studying the power-sharing concerns of the clans living in the country’s eastern corner in a fair and brotherly way that strengthens our unity and statehood.”
There are people in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, who please if Somaliland is always in political rift. These people include government ministers, military officials and parliamentarians. They supplied weapons to KHAATUMO before the peace deal with Somaliland. They always wall-stone Somaliland diplomatically in order to keep Somaliland unrecognized diplomatically and in fighting mode. The current peace deal between Somaliland and KHAATUMO angered these people in Mogadishu, who are working on forming another armed group in the eastern Somaliland. They, Mogadishu politicians, bribed some of KHAATUMO leaders and forced them to reject the peace deal, and continue the armed struggle against Somaliland.
Somaliland is a result of public decision with 97% support of independence, which cannot be changed except the people. The weak government in Mogadishu, Somalia, should respect the desire of the people of Somaliland for self-determination, and build brotherly relationship with Somaliland. Recently, the nominated president of Somalia Sheikh Hassan announced his enmity towards Somaliland, declaring his intentions of dividing Somaliland into small armed groups, in order to create instability just like Mogadishu.
Today, Somaliland is stable economically, politically and military, where the mighty muscle of Somaliland’s Army has the power to defend international borders of Somaliland. The government of Somaliland should introduce compulsory military service where every citizen should receive military training, in order to defend the country, if needed.
By\ Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi