The High Points
For the first time in public, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Siilaanyo’, in his opening remarks at the Central Council Convention (CCC) of Kulmiye, declared that he was not running a second term to the presidency.
He ticked off the reasons. He said, in effect, that he wished:
- To give a chance to younger-generation politicians and long-standing allies/friends aspiring to lead the country
- To reverse the African leadership tradition of clinging on to the highest State seat once they ascended to it in order to set an example for leaders to succeed him as presidents
- To underline the illustrious achievements he attained during his tenures at the helm (different capacities) and to act as a neutral statesman for all of Somaliland in his retirement
For this surprise move, President Siilaanyo has etched his name in African history as the second reigning to voluntarily abdicate from the No. 1 post to give right of passage to those vying for the chance filing behind him – the Mandela of the Republic of Somaliland. A second high point was that the meeting was convened none the worse for the boycotting members who, hitherto, threatened withdrawal of ‘supporters’ from convention which would have posed a serious hindrance. That did not materialize. Less than fifty was said to have been absent of original CC membership.
A third high point shone out of the speech and attitude of the speech in which Dr. Suleiman Isse ‘Haglatosie’ acknowledged defeat as-as a candidate for the vice presidency.
Dr. Haglatosie, Somaliland Minister for Health, gracefully accepted the outcome which favored the incumbent VP, Abdirahman Zeili’i, promising, unfazed, that ‘he will continue working towards a stronger unification of Somaliland’.
Dr. Haglatosie has an extensive support in all of Somaliland’s eastern regions, and can be the most decisive player in the upcoming presidential election on 27 March 2017.
Dr. Haglatosie attracted an extensive support from all of Somaliland citiznry that could not be denied, showing that the appreciation of courage and determination were still alive in Somaliland.
In this light, it is now popularly accepted that Dr. Haglatosie is a figure to watch in Somaliland politics.
A fourth high point was that the nominated winner for the upcoming presidential election on a Kulmiye ticket, Musa Behi Abdi, solemnly undertook to mend the rift among the party ranks, actively going after his erstwhile friends and contenders to bring them back to the ruling party fold. How he does it and in what manner remains to be seen.
Formidable members, among whom were first batch and second batch founders of Kulmiye, boycotted attendance of the CCC.
The second low point was that none competed against Musa Behi for the presidential candidacy, even a stage-maneuvered, last minute contender, rendering Musa’s victory hollow and tasteless.
A third low point and, perhaps, the most biting was the vote that the President cast in favor of his incumbent VP, Zeili’i, for the next candidacy for same post. The fact that the President’s casting of that crucial ‘vote’ came at the head of voting for the VP post rubbed salt into already smarting wounds.
The President should have remained neutral to the contenders!
In the final count, his vote might not have changed the results but doing it generated a possible scenario that says ‘his voting influenced so many of the hitherto undecided’.
For better, for worse, the after effects of the CC Conventions need to be carefully monitored and acted upon to keep Somaliland’s loftier vision and aspirations aloft.