The newly elected president of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi was sworn in for office on Wednesday, a month after the Election Day on the 13th of November to become the fifth president of Somaliland.The inauguration ceremony took place in the Presidential Palace similar to the previous ceremonies. A crowd of several hundred people were present in the ceremony and thousands more were watching it live on TV throughout the country to witness this historic moment of achievement as the fourth President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Siilaanyo) peacefully transitions power to the fifth President.
The two Presidents handing power over to each other hail from the same party Kulmiye and they were friends for a long time starting from their time in the Somaliland National Movement (SNM) to the formative years of the now ruling Kulmiye Party and on wards to the present day. Mr. Muse Bihi Abdi thinks of Siilaanyo as his mentor in politics and Siilaanyo endorsed Bihi’s run for office giving him his vote of confidence that Mr. Bihi is the best man to lead the nation after him.
Also the third President of Somaliland whom many call ‘the father of Somaliland’s democracy’ Mr. Dahir Rayale Kahin attended the ceremony on the same spot that he handed the power peacefully over the currently leaving incumbent Siilaanyo.
The presence of three successive presidents whom each handed power over to the next without any dispute was a powerful metaphor to the level of maturity of Somaliland’s democracy in short span of time.
In addition, as the constitution requires in the inauguration ceremony, the chairman of the Supreme Court Adan Haji Ali, the Chairman of the House of Elders Hon. Saleban Mohamoud Adan and the chairman of The House of Representatives Hon. Bashe Mohamed Farah have attended.
High Profile delegations from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, UK, Sweden, Netherland, the EU and others checked in for the swearing of the President and Vice President-Elect. These delegations passed on their goodwill and congratulations to the elected officials and the people of Somaliland on behalf of their countries and institutions. They also ensured their support for the new government and the democracy of Somaliland.
Before the former President of Somaliland Mr. Dahir Rayaale Kaahin made a speech in which he explained the democratic process in Somaliland and he said “The greatest task of the President is to hold the nation together and ensure the unity of the country.” The former president also said “I want to stress to the new president that there should be no specific group closer to him than the other citizens.”
The President who just left office Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Siilaanyo also made his last speech as the president of Somaliland in the inauguration ceremony and said “Today is a historic day and I am very delighted to hand the power of highest office in the nation over to the next president.” The former president continued and said “I have been serving my country for the last half a century with integrity and doing everything in my capacity for my people. I am thanking God that I am leaving the presidency of a peaceful country”
Soon after his inauguration the fifth President of Somaliland H.E. Muuse Biihi Abdi addressed the nation and focused most of his speech on how to develop the country and become self-sufficient specifically emphasizing on food production and the domains of Agriculture and Fishery. He also put a lot of emphasize on the rule of law, equality among the citizens before the law, justice and accountability on the government officials. The President said in his speech “I will stay on the same path and follow the leadership of the former presidents and will lead our country to unity and development.”
The people are very hopeful and remain optimistic that the new government will deliver on its promises, work hard on improving the lives of Somalilanders and transform the country’s situation for the better.
By Khadar Mariano