Somaliland: Campaign for Parliamentary Elections in Full Swing
On the first day of the election campaign, thousands of supporters of the opposition Justice and Welfare party took part in a rally held at the Independence Park in Hargeisa, after going through the main streets using buses and small cars. The supporters were carrying party flag, pictures of their regional candidates and shouting slogans such as "UCID will be the winner".
4 party candidates, one of them a woman addressed the rally with their main theme and message focusing on unemployment and social services. They promised to provide employment and better social services than the ruling party if they are elected.
The Regional Chairman of the Justice and Welfare Party, Mr. Omer Aw Ali Jama called on supporters to vote for party candidates.
The Campaign for the Parliamentary elections began in the early hours of the morning with a policy speech by Mr. Faisal Ali Warabe released by Radio Hargeisa (This is the first time that a policy speech by the opposition is released by the State radio).
Mr. Faisal Ali Warabe said; "We will introduce compulsory primary education for children between the ages of 7-14. We will provide free health service for nationals and recognition will be our priority".
Speaking about the parliamentary election, he said; "Our party will refrain from doing everything that will contribute towards holding a fair, free and democratic election".
On the second day of the campaign, thousands of supporters of the main opposition KULMIYE party went through the streets in Hargeisa on buses and small cars and loud speakers carrying party flags, pictures of candidates and shouting that their party will be the winner.
At the Independence Park where they hold their rally in Hargeisa, Deputy Chairman of KULMIYE and former Vice-president, Mr. Abdirahman Aw Ali spoke about the two previous elections saying that the party took major strides forward and was successful.
Mr. Abdirahman spoke the need for change and said that KULMIYE will make change in the Judiciary and Justice, society Welfare and provide support for the nomadic population.
The Deputy Chairman in his speech said, "We have saved the country from the clutches of Siad Barre by using the bullet, but today we are going to do that, by voting democratically and as such I call on those communities who intend to boycott the election not to do so".
Chairman of KULMIYE Party Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo addressing the rally said, "The parliamentary election will be the most important election and as such i urge all eligible voters to vote for those candidates, who will lead the people of Somaliland to the realization of their destiny."
Mr. Silanyo appealed to the people to preserve peace and stability. He said, "We need to have a functioning government and I assure you that our candidates are fit to do that".
He stressed that KULMIYE will fight corruption, embezzlement, nepotism, lack of transparency, unaccountability and secret agreements.
He said, "We are afraid that secret agreements concerning our land and sea oil resources might have been reached. We call on the government to clarify its position on secret agreements".
He concluded his speech, saying, "Let us put the country on the right track through the ballot box. Vote for KULMIYE".
On the 3rd day of the Campaign thousands of supporters of the ruling party UDUB took part in the rally at the Independence Park in Hargeisa, in support of their party and candidates.
Thousands of supporters carrying party flags and pictures of candidates were inside the Park and outside it. The Independence Park was over crowded and many supporters were playing folklore dances.
Mr. Abdillahi Mohamed Du'ale, minister of Information speaking in the name of the government, said; "The government has resolved to complete the democratic process that it began by holding a free and fair election. I appeal to the people to support the government to achieve this goal".
Speaking about the media, he said; "You have seen that the state media is neutral and that all parties are releasing their campaign. I remind the private media and journalists not to be carried away by friendship and as such loose their objectivity".
The minister of Information called on the people to give their votes to God-fearing candidates, who will represent them.
"This is the first time for the majority of our youth to vote, in a parliamentary election. We urge all the parties to refrain from taking any act, that might arouse their feelings and as such cause instability and have negative consequences on our aspirations, for the world is watching us," he said addressing the parties and their candidates.
Mr. Abdillahi Mohamed Du'ale warned the administration of Puntland to respect neighbourliness and as such not to meddle or interfere in the election saying that Somaliland will loose its patience.
The Secretary General of UDUB, Mr. Mohamed Ismail Bullale addressing the rally stated that SNM, which freed the country, belongs to the people and as such cannot be claimed by any party alone. He said, "Public property is the responsibility of the government. The parties can complain if they are denied access to the state media or holding rallies at public squares."
Mr. Mohamed Ismail Bullale, criticized KULMIYE leaders. He said, "They were those who led the country from 1991-1997 and were the cause for confrontation civil strife and displacement."
Speaking about the opposition UCID he said, "Most of its leaders are from the Diaspora, who have good intentions but are inexperienced in our culture".
Source: All Africa