Somaliland’s Waddani political party chairman, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi “Irro”, today, confirmed that his party will resume full cooperation with the National Electoral Commission (NEC) again rescinding the temporary hold it put it on Thursday.
Chairman Irro, speaking to the press at the NEC premises stated that as a result of talks his party had had with the electoral body for the past two days on contentious points, his party was satisfied with the responses and explanations received thus re-assuming its role in the vote tallying once more.
“We have agreed with NEC that tallying of votes from Hargeisa and Gabiley polling stations will resume in their presence as before, and that other issues from other regions that had already been tallied will be submitted to the electoral body in writing,” he said.
The Chairman, also, stated that his party was sufficiently satisfied with the non-validity of a ballot book Waddani officers claimed was a forged copy at the ill-fated press conference on Thursday, which he, himself, supported in another press conference later in the day (as below).
“We are sufficiently satisfied that the ballot copy which our party presented to the media on Thursday was, in fact, an official copy and not a forged one as NEC insisted before,” he added.
The Chairman, however, remained unapologetic to the public – and the world – on the restive disturbances Waddani supporters created in some parts of Burao, Erigavo and Hargeisa cities.
He did not show, either, proper commiseration on the lives lost, people injured or properties lost or damaged during the brief, violent demonstrations his supporters staged following the pronouncement of the Waddani officers on the alleged forgery of ballot papers which were now adequately disproved.
Instead, NEC Chairman, Abdulkadir Iman, filled the gaps showering praise on the Chairman for his role on the resumption of cooperation.
“The Chairman, as a leader, showed a genuine concern for the nation,” he said.
On a related development, the Somaliland Minister for the Presidency, Mohamoud Hashi Abdi, Dr. saad Ali Shire, Foreign affairs and minister of aviation, Farhan Haibeh, paid a visit to the injured currently treated at the Hargeisa Group Hospital.
Still in the hospital for varying degrees of injuries are 19 security officers, one of them sustaining a gunshot from a demonstrator firing from a house window, and 9 civilians. One life was lost in Hargeisa, two others in Burao. all three were civilians.
The ministers wished the injured a speedy recovery and the families of the deceased sincere condolences, hoping that Thursday disturbances will not be revisited.
The Presidential election held on 15 November throughout the Republic of Somaliland enormously pleased a public following up on similar, copy-book elections it held before despite the awesome challenges the country faced as it took international observers by surprise.
The election used cards based on iris-recognition voter registration which the world hailed as a novel, ‘template’ exercise that should be emulated and replicated in other parts of the world.
The election, nonetheless, attracted a lot of unfavorable media attention from Somalia elements which adversely impacted on receptive ears among young, impressionable supporters of Waddani and older, uneducated constituents alike.
Without a very clear message, on the part of party leaders, unequivocally stating that Waddani will not hesitate to accept results as it pledged before, threatening, divisive social media messages from supporters such as the one below vowing to raze Hargeisa to the ground, largely fueled by Somaliland foes, will not easily disappear.