In less than a day Somalilanders will hit the polls and vote on who they feel will best represent their interests. This election means different things to different people to some the end goal of this election means the victory of their party their loyalty lays where their interest is but to the vast majority of the ordinary Somalilanders this election means hope.
To the unemployed
To the thousands of unemployed fresh graduates/youth in Somaliland this elections means hope. Deep down they are hoping maybe this election is the light at the end of the tunnel and the new government may actually create new jobs for them. According to the Somaliland National Youth Policy (2013) 70% of the Somaliland’s population is below the age of 30 and the number is increasing. Just imagine the magnitude of the problem that the majority of the Somaliland’s young people are unemployed. Needless to say, youth unemployment is not only a ticking time bomb, but also a growing monster that if not effectively tamed, may soon become uncontainable. And this should really worry us.
To the kids in the public schools
To the kids in the public schools whose parents can’t afford to send them to private schools this election means hope, the hope to get a better Education, the hope to get a school with better facilities. Public schools generally have less qualified teachers and not enough teachers for the number of children enrolled in school and that makes the education gap between the rich and poor to grow wider in the recent years. Education crisis is serious in Somaliland and it adversely affects public schools more than the private once.
To the poor working mothers
To the mother who sells the grocery in the market that doesn’t have a toilet and proper shade to sit under and pays a double tax every day one for the government and the other for the guards that keep her belongings safe at night this election means hope, the hope to get a better services for the tax she pays to the government. The hope to get a government that cares about her needs and wellbeing, not a government that takes her tax and forgets about her existence and needs until they come to need her vote in the next election. Some of those mothers developed serious health conditions caused by the lack of toilets and the sun as they sit hours under the sun and needles to say they don’t get a proper health care.
To the Somaliland women in politics
To the underrepresented Somaliland women this elections means hope, the hope to lead, the hope to sit in the table and be part of the decision makers and the hope for a government that increases the percentage of women in the labor force and create laws to enforce equal opportunity for all and encourage companies/ government institutions to set their own targets to ensure talented women can access top jobs that is the Somaliland we hope to see after the election and that is what is at stake in this election.
When 13th November finally comes be mindful with your vote put your tribesman loyalty aside for a day and vote for the one you genuinely think can best represent our interest as a nation. I know that no candidate is perfect. No one ticked all of our boxes but at least one of them is the best and safest choice on what we have now. Your vote is powerful, use it wisely. Vote smart vote in peace.
Fatima _warda bashir you can reach firstname.lastname@example.org