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Near insurmountable Challenges Facing Somaliland President-elect

Hargeisa (The Horn)- As he prepares to ascend to the Somaliland presidency as the fifth occupant of the office, President-elect Muse Behi Abdi is confronted by a myriad of challenges to his administration.

While most of these challenges are addressed in the Kulmiye party manifesto in which he campaigned during the presidential elections of 13th November that he won, implementation strategies embarked upon shall define his tenure.

Among the various challenges Muse Behi Abdi shall face as president include but not limited to

Administration Capacity

Politically polarized communities

Corruption

Tribalism

Economy and

Democratization process

Administration Capacity

Currently Somaliland has a very bloated administration that exceeds 80 ministers

For the president-elect the bloated cabinet of his predecessor was a major issue during his campaign from which he pledged to reverse matters

“If elected I will build a lean and functional cabinet composed of capable citizens” Muse Behi pledged at various campaign venues

For Somalilanders the huge administration put in place by president Silanyo has been of concern especially as a source of central coffers drainage.

Apart from the huge sums expended in remunerating the ineffective cabinet, citizens also perceived the many persons in office as not only corrupt but appointed without regard to equity within local communities, that is an administration in which a majority of Somaliland clans missed out

For example the outgoing administration is composed at all levels of a  large number of president Silanyo’s clansmen.

Since establishment of an administration is the first act Muse Behi Abdi shall perform as president, citizens have antennas raised as per not only the size but clan diversity.

Politically Polarized Communities

Since 2016 when the presidential election became certain  Somaliland communities have been politically polarized to never unseen extends.

Though three political parties namely UCID,  Kulmiye  and Wadani contested the 2017 presidential elections support within the country for the later two saw a major divide whose retraction is of major import.

Though his first words were reconciling thence eliminate the  political polarization in the country, President Muse Behi has the onerous task of ensuring that his administration leaves none out thus all inclusive.

Corruption

From  2015-2017 the government of Somaliland was termed as very corrupt in subsequent reports submitted to the United Nations by its local watchdog namely the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group.

these reports were conformation  of what citizens already knew about the maladministration antics seemingly institutionalize by the over-bloated administration of president Silanyo.

For president Muse Behi the urgency of reversing this issue that has not only almost bankrupted the central coffers but led to a poor international image for Somaliland, is imperative

Currently public assets be it physical or liquid seems to have became individual property of those appointed by president Silanyo.

That said,  the president elect didn’t only make pledges to this effect but followed the matter up in later post election statements must implemented the pledges thence gain the confidence of his constituents.

Tribalism

Prior to the ascension of president Silanyo, Somaliland communities were a very cohesive people driven by the one aim, the quest of their country’s international recognition as a sovereign nation.

Come mid 2010 and president Silanyo things turned completely away from the now almost hopes for recognition to citizens turning to clan alignment on whatever matter.

“ Reer Hebel baanu nahay , Reer hebel baad tihiin (we are this clan, you are that clan) became the rallying call all over Somaliland.

With this belief it has of late been the norm that any criticism on any, of the government means you are from the opposing clan while support means you are from the opposite camp, read clan.

This clan divide which was bred by the administration composition of president Silanyo in which his clansmen and a few from other clans deemed supportive were apportioned almost all appointive posts in the country.

Come presidential elections in which political parties were not only seen but actually were clan oriented matters took a dire direction that must be remedied and urgently.

For the tenure of president Muse Behi to enter the annals of history his total elimination of this tendency that has been exacerbated by the rough election campaign is one that shall surely rely on his known toughness in reconciliation.

More so, composition of his administration shall be a major yardstick in this matter as pertains equitable distribution of posts especially the embracing of clans hitherto absent as well as from those supporting Opposition parties.

Economy 

President Muse Behi Abdi takes over the reigns of power at a time when Somaliland is facing its severest economic woes.

Whether caused by maladministration, drought, inflation, unemployment and lose of investor confidence among others citizens of Somaliland are bearing huge livelihood difficulties.

Despite huge civil service salary increases by the administration of president Silanyo, the massive devaluation of the Somaliland shilling has seen a majority of citizens devoid of ability to afford basic needs.

While apt strategies to stimulate economic growth thence improve livelihoods is a must, for the incoming president a recent study which  indicates that in Somaliland where youths are almost 70% of the population have 75% of their lot unemployed is of concern.

Democratization Process

The two past elected administrations almost made term extension legal thence the IC perceived injury to the democratization process that was touted as exemplary in the Horn Region.

Similarly the long tenure of House of Representatives the Somaliland lower chamber of parliament now in its thirteenth year is deemed as of negative impact to the democratization process.

In addition to the legislative assembly, local councils have also surpassed their legal term office due to the Said term extensions that dictate that once that of the executive and parliament is extended then so too local government’s

As for citizens the election laws in the country need to see a huge review especially as pertains how and when polls are conducted in the country.

Another poignant issue is amalgamation of presidential and parliamentary polls that should be held timely after conduct of local councils one.

In Somaliland only three political parties can exist at any given time thence local council elections take precedence since political groups take part with the top three registered as national parties.

Driven by his pledges of never extending his term the administration of president Muse Behi, must also embark of reviewing the Said laws thence a truly democratic Somaliland that is properly aligned with president international norms.

Finally now that elections are over and despite allegations of vote fraud, Somalilanders regardless of party or clan affiliation owe President Muse Behi Abdi a supportive hand and breathing space to govern

 

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