Hargeysa (Suna times) The recent municipal elections in
Somalia’s northern region of Somaliland was clearly not free and fair contrary
to what a small team of 50 foreign observers claimed, who did not leave their
hotels in Hargeisa. It was never in
doubt that Ahmed M. Silanyo’s Kulmiye (now renamed Qudhmiye) party would get a
sweeping victory in the districts and council elections on November 28th.
Many institutions including the government machine, police, the courts,
parliament, tribal chiefs and even the electoral commission itself were
deployed to produce a landslide victory.
From the get go the election was entirely based on tribal
agendas and all political organizations were built around the sub-clans of
Isaaq tribe. For example Kulmiye was and remains a party for Habar Jelo
sub-clan with Sa’ad Muse as its second class citizens. Waddani is entirely the
Habar Yonis sub-clan and Haqsoor has its main support amongst the Arab sub-clan
and few Dhulbahantes of Darood tribe.
The tribal candidates, more than 2,300, all except Habar
Jelo and Habar Yonis, complained saying that the poll was rigged and failed to
meet basic standards for democratic elections. The main reason Kulmiye and the
Habar Jelo machine did not complain is because they used the executive power
including police to doctor the results. Likewise, the Habar Yonis under the
leadership of Abdirahman Irro used the legislative body to manipulate the
outcome. Mr. Irro is the speaker of Somaliland’s House of Representatives and
until now no one has ever questioned him over the likely conflict of interest.
This election was a tribal dance between the two branches of government in the
isolated northern region.
Kulmiye and the Habar Jelo government had hundreds of
lorries and buses stuffed with people from far far-flung regions. They voted
again and again going from polling station to polling station. The National
Electoral Commission (NEC) was aware of the multiple votes but when the issue
was brought to their attention, they turned a blind eye. The Somaliland people
now believe the chairman of the Electoral College is now in bed with Silanyo
and entertaining his tribal motives.Kulmiye and the Habar Jelo informed the NEC that the number “seven” was
Silanyo’s lucky number and when the commission got the chance to release some
preliminary results they gave the Habar Jelo party 7 across the board. Kulmiye
scored 7 seats in Gabiley district, Hargeisa, Borama, Burao and Las Anod, where
minimal election took place. They even claimed to have scored seats in the
district of Hudun in Sool where no election took place.
While the NEC gave Kulmiye places such as Hudun, they
reportedly told Haqsoor they had no results for Ahmed Dagah neighborhood of
Hargeisa, where they had huge tribal support. The NEC under the command of
Silanyo erased Ahmed Dagah from Hargeisa. This angered the locals and on
Thursday night Habar Jelo troops and Arab youth clashed in the area leaving
more than one dead and 8 hospitalised.
The tribal NEC is now trying to convince other tribes to
lay down their tribal flags and accept authority from a small tribe from
eastern Somaliland. This is not likely to go down well with the main Isaaq
sub-clans including the Eidagale who won only four seats in their native town.
Until now it is not clear why the NEC did not give them the “7” score as well
especially when they are one of the largest tribes in the town.
The whole election was flawed and fiasco. It was an
insult to democracy. 5 out of the 7 tribal political associations said the
election was the most dishonest since Somaliland declared its tribal secession.
The international community needs to intervene before tribes in the north clash
over this purported election.
It was a complete joke. In the preliminary results in
Burao for example 12 “elected” councilors were the Habar Jelo sub-clan and
represented Kulmiye while 7 others got elected under the tribal shirt Waddani
from the rival Habar Yonis sub-clan. Kulmiye collected all the underage kids to
vote in this mad tribal elections and the NEC was busy watching the riots in
Cairo. In every town and district, every man, child and mother voted for his or
her tribal representative and feuds are currently running high in all major
The Habar Jelo government even managed to disturb peace
in the border town of Lughaya near Djibouti, when it threw a tribal election
grenade between the Samaroon and Isse clans. The Samaron now claim victory over
the Isse after Kulmiye ensured Samaron supporters swept that district. Djibouti has threatened to review its
relations with Somaliland over the issue and even called the former mayor of
Lughaya to Djibouti city. This will be disaster because the Habar Jelo regime
of Silanyo already has shaky relations with all neighbouring regions including
Puntland and Ethiopia. Addis Ababa on several occasions protested over a number
of cabinet ministers in Silanyo’s tribal administration including Hersi Haji
Hassan Ali, the so called minister of presidency, over their links with Al
Shabab. Ethiopia said they had evidence that Mr. Ali and Somaliland’s finance
minister Abdulaziz Samale had close relations with the terrorist group.
Djibouti is also likely to protest over the district of
Zeila where their kinsmen, the Isse tribe, were barred from the tribal
The locals have already indicated they will not accept
the results the NEC produced from thin air. No clan is ready to take orders
from minor sub-clan that claimed score of 7 in every district. This was both
was of time and money and hopefully people like Progressio will understand the
region more next time instead of cheering for tribal chaos.
Now it is clear to the international community and to
those in the region what the tribal administration in Hargeisa has been cooking
up all these years. It is now out for everyone to see why a tribe cannot be a
By Abdisamad Mooge “Kayse”