The vote of the people is a sacred exercise that cannot be infringed.

The vote of the people is a sacred exercise that cannot be infringed.By Mohamed Farah (saqiiro).



In early December I wrote an article praising the democratic exercise of the

of the people of Somaliland, in return I got some feed back from the readers

who expressed different view points. Some said that the jury is still out and

the over all vote counting seems very slow in some regions which will give

room for mischief among certain groups, others complained the inconsistent

vote tally of some cities which changes dramatically every election cycle,

while others praised this enormous exercise of democracy by people.

Every one of them had a very convincing argument to illustrate the short comings

of the election, which may help correct the future elections. Having said that

I want to distinguish the main difference between the people and the government

of the day. The people lined up early and orderly. They fulfilled their duties

as a citizen and voted in large numbers. The turn out could be close to 95%.

It is the duty of the government to organize and execute the election in timely

fashion throughout the land without delay. It is also imperative to divide the

elector map to smaller districts in order for the people to elect the closest

representative. For example Hargeisa is a big city, the person who lives in

goljano should not elect the candidate who is from the airport. In this cycle

people are given an opportunity to vote some body who shares his lineage

but lives different district.

I want to proceed to the main reason of this article which is to demonstrate

how the vote of the citizen is sacred. I want to point out three events which

could lead a grave course for the people and their democracy.

1- In Berbera city the newly elected counsel elected a mayor and a vice

mayor for the last few days. The vice minister of the interior was dispatched

from the palace to influence the outcome. he demanded that the proceeding

must be held behind closed doors in order to apply some pressure .

The governor intervened and allowed the counsel members to vote

openly with the presence of the media. An scuffle followed, the police

intervened and eventually the governor prevailed. The counselors voted

and elected the new mayor. The president and his prince in the palace

could not accept this out right exercise of these unwashed masses

and begun to retaliate. Rather than swallow the verdict of the people,

he dismissed the Governor of Saaxil. The people saw these actions as

provocative and punishment for doing the right thing.

2- This year the Governor of Hargeisa and three others were accused of

embezzlement, corruption and theft. It was not about public funds

or misappropriation, in fact it was the theft of the foreign aid food

allocated for the drought hit regions and the poor of the country.

they hauled, trucked and sold the food to the open market while

pocketing the profit. It was the first time in Somaliland a big fish was

prosecuted for a crime. After a lengthy trial prosecuted by he regional

attorney and the testimony of the police chief, they were convicted of

Xatooyo xoolo dadweyne. Not so fast, after few months they were

pardoned by the president and were out on the street.

To add insult to the injury we heard today that the same guy that

was convicted of embezzlement was reappointed as the Governor

of Hrageisa. His crimes and convictions were overlooked in order

to balance the tribal card and reward his associates. Since they

are bent on tribal loyalty , why not find his cousin to fill the post.

3- In the Awdal region, the election process was fair and free compared

to the other regions of Somaliland. Within 72 hours of the election the

small districts were tabulated early and released to the public,

followed by Borama within 48 hours, compare that to Gabiley, with

less numbers than Borama, was released almost ten days after the

election. Their are some reports that in Gabiley the stake holders

of some groups sat down and openly distributed the counselors

among them while eliminating others. Since the release of the result

their were a lot of voices complaining about the process. The only

thing I could say is we have to accept the verdict and prepare

for the next vote. In Zaylac district, as well as other parts of Awdal

the result was fair and free. In Zaylac their are load voices trying to

undermine the result by accusing the top leadership, especialy vice

President Zaylici of collusion. When the vice president was asked

about these noises, he said “before the start of the election I made

sure those who are organizing and chairing the process including the

commission chair, vice chair and the governor should be from the

Ciise community in order to prevent any accusation of favoritism.

in Zaylac the people have spoken load and clear.

The most sacred exercise of democracy is the people, young and

old , men women, rich and poor standing in line and casting their

ballot. This ritual is more powerful than the barrel of a gun,

more legitimate than the most powerful ruler or appointed prince.

their is news flash for president Silaanyo and company. In the

modern democracy your power and reach are limited, the people

are the mighty sea and you the politicians are the fish who could

go out or inside. They are the ultimate arbiter who decides who

rules the land. The earliest one understands that this are the

foundation of democracy the better. All these actions of the

president Siilaany`s government are the hallmark of inept

administration that didn’t get the message. This are the thinking

of authoritarian regimes of past decades.

Djibouti s Geele and Somaliland.

The small time dictator next door who rules (Xeebta somali laga

xaday) cannot reverse the will of the people. These days we hear

in the media that Geele is spending his energy to bring peace in

Somalia by sending troops. My take on these are two folds.

a) Every African solder that goes to Somalia makes $1200 month.

That is a cash cow and magnate for most of of poor African solders

earning less than one hundred a month. For Geele this an

opportunity to make millions. He could pay these solders a meager

200 dollars and pocket the rest. for 2000 solders , that will earn him

close 2 million a month, multiply 40 months and you have $80 mil.

b) While the economic factor is one thing, the most important factor

for him is the survival of his regime and his desire to rule for life.

By following the foot steps of his friend Meles , he thinks military

intervention is a short cut for survival. In 2005 election Meles was

pushed hard by the opposition, they won a third of the parliamentary

seats and accused him of rigging the election. When a hundred

thousand strong demonstrators began their push from mercato in

order to overrun the fortified palace. , His troops opened fire killing

up to forty people. He spent most of 2006 by defending his actions.

The international media highlighted his long rule of 14 years and

the iron fist he used to decimate the opposition. Some Ethiobia

watcher thought his grip on power might be loosening.

All that changed in December of 2006 when ethiopian troops

invaded Somalia to crush Al-shabaab. The ensuing years the

opposition could not raise it`s voice while the premier was

executing the war on terror. He jailed the most prominent

opposition leaders, exiled other and eliminated them from

the political arena. The election of 2010 Meles and his coalition

won 99% of the parliamentary seats. He dies last september

before the end of his term which was due in 2015.

I believe mr. Geele want to emulate Meles. While Djibouti is

burning with unemployment and high inflation , he want to

preoccupy the media and the people on this mission while

presenting himself to the international community as a partner

on the war on terror. I do no believe he cares the well being of

the people of AWDAL coast, if he really did, he would have

dug a water well or built a hospital for this community.

As we speak their are prolonged drought in that part of the

country and we did not hear a peep from Geele. Many of us

care about Djibouti and her people , we think it could be the

Hong Kong of Africa if decent leaders emerge from the shadow

of this long time despot.

My conclusion is that this election is the solemn exercise of

the people and no dictator in horn or the political mechanization

of Somaliland palace can reverse the will of the people.

nabad iyo caano.

Mohamed Farah (saqiiro).



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