Jan 06, 2011

Somaliland: Democracy’s Good News Story of 2010

While seeking international recognition, Somaliland already represents a positive model for Africa as it is developing a democratic and stable regime where reconciliation and market economy are the most important instruments of development.

Below is an article published by Oodweynenews


On June 26, 2010 Somaliland hold presidential election for second time in history.

The presidential election process was a symbol for the degree of democracy for many people around the world. Therefore it was an opportunity for Somaliland people to show the world that the nation is committed to the chosen path of democracy, peace, reconciliation and market economy.

The presidential election was an historic moment for Somaliland’s democracy. Many had concerns that Somaliland will not be able to conduct a free and fair election and there will be chaos. Somaliland’s people have once again shown the world that Somaliland is mature for democracy and has chosen to build a nation based on law and order, democracy, multi party system and institution building, Yes they did it. Contrary to the fears the election became a success story. The opposition leader of Kulmiye Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silaanyo won the election and the handover of the presidential post was peaceful and in orderly manner. The recognition of the election results of all the candidates and the political parties is unique in African context. When compared to countries like Kenya , Zimbabwe and Ivory coast, which had presidential elections where the incumbent president refused to admit defeat. Somaliland managed to change president without bloodshed compared to Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast ,where many civilians died in fighting that began after the presidential elections. Under pressure from the international community the presidential candidates in Zimbabwe and Kenya formed a coalition government. The dispute in Ivory Coast is still going on and there is a risk for civil war.

Another example is the election in Irak, in the beginning of 2010. It took almost 10 months to form a government after the election despite the support from USA and the International community. In the light of this, Somaliland whose democratic system is relatively new is a good example of how to practice a real democracy. Somaliland has received international recognition for the way the Presidential election was conducted and the peaceful transition of the power. The International community has pledged to support the new president and the Somaliland people. Somaliland has proved that it is serious about the democratic way and there is no turning back. Thanks to the Somaliland people, political parties, elders, women and all others who ensured that the country developed into a fully functioning democracy in which individual freedom and human rights are respected.

Many countries including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain and USA are willing to collaborate directly with Somaliland government and the parliament. It is a welcome response from the international community. But it is not enough hence Somaliland has not yet been recognized as an independent country. Lack of recognition is an obstacle to foreign investment and Somaliland banking system. Recognizing Somaliland means hope for democracy, fight against extremism, fanaticism and terrorism. It is therefore high time that the international community acts quickly and recognize Somaliland as an independent country that contributes to peace and stability in the region and internationally. There is a light at the tunnel, the trend is clear, several countries are considering to recognize Somaliland. Information from WikiLeak is showing a clear indication what is going on behind the scenes. Somaliland President’s recent official visit to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Great Britain have been successful. The struggle for Somaliland recognition must continue in 2011 with undiminished strength. It is therefore important that Somaliland people as a nation put all efforts together and show continues commitment for democracy and rule of law.

Somaliland parliament is the supreme symbol of democracy. Therefore, it rests a great responsibility to the elected members of the parliament (MP) to live up to their responsibilities for the nation. Recent disputes among the MP:s is not encouraging. The Somaliland parliament has won respect in the International community for the genuine work they are doing for the sake of democracy and recognition. Therefore MP:s should safeguard the reputation of the parliament. The International community is watching how far Somaliland will go with the development of democracy and rule of law. International media (newspapers and television) from many countries are visiting Somaliland to find out the positive developments taking place there. Now, it is time for Somaliland people to consolidate what they have accomplished as a nation and as a people and continue to build for the future through constructive dialogue and be united as one.