One cannot help but call today’s banquet at the Presidency which His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, held for all-party MPs an olive branch gesture.
Since the new House of Representatives MPs were sworn in roughly seven months ago, Sunday, today, marked the first day many of them saw the inside of the presidency.
“The President is the highest figure and the leader of Somaliland statehood of which the Parliament is one among the three pillars that constitute it,” the Honorable Abdirizak Khalif Ahmed, Speaker of the HoR stated, after expressing his delight at the fence-mending, unifying gesture the President made for the executive, the legislative and the judiciary branches of the government.
Skids, misunderstanding, and – on occasion – disturbances that nearly rocked the new House out of its course abounded since May last year when the new MPs were elected in an election that twinned it with municipal councils.
There were times MPs exchanged blows on minor differences. There were others that pitched them against each other on technicalities. Interests clashed. Interpretations of finer points surfaced. Party loyalties changed hues. MPs from different political parties joined hands on occasion, parted ways on others.
“This banquet of the President shows that we are united in serving our country, and looking out for the people who have elected us to lead them,” the Honorable Speaker added.
The parliament will soon go to recess.
Presently, the majority of MPs at the HoR hail from the two opposition parties of Waddani and UCID.
At the occasion, the Honorable Chief Justice, Adan Haji Ali, and the Speaker of the Upper House of the Parliament, Suleiman Mohamoud Adan, also, underlined the need for unity in the face of the variegated adversities the country was facing at the moment: political, environmental, economic or otherwise.
“The guiding principle of all three pillars is to properly, conscientiously, and responsibly serve a public that is looking up to us for leadership, and to show that we are sincere about this unifying beacon,” President Bihi stated, shedding light on the main objective behind the occasion he hosted.
At a time that the Republic of Somaliland’s resilience against a myriad of daunting odds is encouragingly paying off in the eyes of an international community that largely ignored it for the better part of 31 years, today’s come-together was another first in a region that rarely saw similar break-throughs outside Somaliland.
The occasion marked another milestone that showed how worlds apart the Republic of Somaliland and the federal government of Somalia to the south that the world, unlike Somaliland, patched together were.
To Somaliland’s 8 1person-1vote elections since 2001, Somalia has yet to hold one. Instead, the world keeps financing meandering selections that leaders in the beleaguered, turmoil-ridden country cannot even do them right or keep them time-bound.
Somaliland is in for an eventful year this year. Far-reaching decisions and grounds for national consensus are in the offing as differences on the sequencing of a number of elections and selections slated for the end of the year and early on in 2023 exist: political associations, presidential elections, and the selection of new members of the Guurti (Upper House).