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Issue 437 -- June 12- 18, 2010
Our Votes Are For Change Not For Sale
By Mukhtar Mohamed Abby
Early in this month the Election Campaign has officially started throughout the country, and each political party has been given a specific day by the National Election Commission of Somaliland to drum up support for their campaign and woo the people of Somaliland to vote for their respective party by expounding to the masses of Somaliland their manifestos. To this date, the campaign is going on peacefully across the country and no untoward incident has been reported from any part in the country since the start of the campaign.
Comparatively speaking, the people of Somaliland are eager to know about each party’s respective manifesto in order that they would be able to vote for the party, which they consider has the deserved Election manifesto - something the general public have now noticed its significance, and its betterment for the country’s future development.
The erstwhile polls, the people of Somaliland had been completely consumed with ignorance about the Election manifestos of those contesting political parties, and were simply voting for any party which they feel like. And that lack of electoral experience had been the resultant of Riyale’s victory in the last Presidential polls. Ostensibly, the people of Somaliland have been indoctrinated by the international as well as the local television channels to believe that the only way a repugnant and failed regime can be changed is at the ballot box and that people power eventually prevails as is happened in many parts of the world. - And that is why the people of Somaliland are giving their eyeteeth for regime change in a peaceful fashion.
The first day being UDUB’s day for electioneering – the outgoing President of Somaliland and the UDUB’s candidature has in his campaign speech foolishly and shamelessly begged his supporters, who congregated at the independence Park in Hargeysa to vote him to power once again despite his failures in his eight years in office. Ironically, his campaign speech has not gone down well with his supporters who came to listen to him, and his speech kept them on the tenterhooks whether their candidate that is Dahir Riyale Kahin, will win in the coming Presidential polls. It is very unfortunate that his supporters have now noticed that his lack of performance and his embezzlement of the State fund in his eight years at the helm, will definitely do a great disservice to his desire for re-election, and that it is too late to bridge the trust deficit gap between the people of Somaliland and that of Riyale administration. These people who mustered there were alleged to have been shelled out the freshly printed Somaliland bank notes, which the Riyale administration allocated to woo the voters. Given that the ruling party which has been in power for eight years and that it currently enjoys money and muscle power - was expected to come up with a show of popular support, which would overshadow the opposition parties, but the irony has it that the UDUB’s campaign has been recorded as the weakest crusade compared to that of the opposition parties, Kulmiye and UCID.
Rumors are doing the rounds that the outgoing Riyale administration is plotting to return to power through manipulation because they came to know that their popularity in its eight years in office in which they were entertaining the innocent people of Somaliland with fairy tale and false promises is at the lowest ebb - .And that the people of Somaliland are consumed by anger and frustration, and are bent on topple the failed administration at the ballot box, which is round the corner.
Knowing that Dahir Riyale Kahin has been in office almost a decade, and yet he failed to build even a small school in any party of the country be it his home town, Borama, let alone to improve the country’s entire public infrastructure. Amazingly, Hargeysa, which is the capital city of Somaliland - its dwellers are being bedeviled by scarcity of drinking water, which is the basic necessity for life; the Hargeysa bridge that had been destroyed by the torrential rain is lying in ruins and was forsaken and the money contributed by the decent people of Somaliland for the reconstruction of the bridge – was misappropriated by the Riyale administration. The rumor has it that it has been resumed its reconstruction on the eve of the campaign. And the only main bridge in the city which interconnects between the two parts of the city is bereft of maintenance and is about to collapse sooner or later and its lack of maintenance had repeatedly been brought to the attention of the concerning authority by the city dwellers, but had fallen on deaf ear and nothing had been done about it.
One of the main slogans of the ruling party is that it considers itself the custodian of Somaliland’s peace and tranquility and we’re all well aware of that the Riyale administration willfully killed the innocent protesters who were against the unwarranted extension given to his outgoing administration; many a time the police forces loyal to this failed administration opened fire on protesters claiming they were performing their duty. It is therefore, extremely ridicules that the ruling party - UDUB, which is anti- Somaliland and anti – people considers itself as the custodian of Somaliland’s peace when they are canvassing for votes despite their barbaric acts, which are against the human rights. There are still a handful of people who are led to believe that the ruling party is the only political party that can bring about solidarity and harmony and that it deserves to govern the country and be re-elected again and that no other party is unbefitting to rule the country, and if voted the opposition party Kulmiye to power they will destabilize the country thanks to their past history. Ironically, large numbers of people are switching their support to the Kulmiye opposition party day in day out in spite of the ruling party’s propaganda. These people came to now that the UDUB party, does not have any clear cut agenda towards how this country in which they have been ruling for almost a decade be run and that the UDUB party does not yet rise above its fairy tale entertainment with the people of Somaliland.
Despite UDUB’s muscle and money power, a huge number of its supporters including those who are holding posts in the Riyale administration are reported to have joined the Kulmiye opposition party in order to put their weight behind the party - which they recognized that its leader is a Somaliland’s political messiah, who would bring about a sea change – a change that many Somalilanders have been hankering for.
The ruling party is completely engulfed by the overwhelming support given to the Kulmiye party by the masses, and it is almost deserted and once the ruling party failed to win the minds and the hearts of the voters they resorted to play tribe card and arrests have been meted out to the people in the government seen as neutral or loyal to the opposition parties. UDUB party also resorted to rabble – rousing speeches which would only do a great disservice to its desire for re-election.
Kulmiye’s campaign is well – orchestrated and it outmaneuvered than the ruling party by coming up with a clear cut political manifesto for which the party high command intended to develop the entire country that has been misgoverned by the Riyale administration in its eight years in office. The Kulmiye party leaders seem be winning to change the people’s mindset that was polluted by the outgoing Riyale administration; they are calling for the voters to choose corruption, misadministration and nepotism over prosperity, justice and solidarity.
However, any nationalistic personality who reads the Kulmiye’s manifesto – the political programme for which the party has intended to develop the entire country, would ostensibly vote for the Kulmiye opposition party. Therefore, I strongly urge my fellow country people that it is the high time to unseat the unpopular government of president Riyale at the ballot box; we must all vote for the Kulmiye party and we should rise above the UDUB’s fairy tale entertainment, and that our votes should be for change not for sale.
Mukhtar Mohamed Abby
India, Karnataka State
The writer can be reached at email@example.com