Who might win Somaliland’s presidential election? by Abdirisak Ismail Esse
Somaliland’s presidential election is just around the corner as people are going to cast their votes to elect the president of the next five years.They are going to the polls to vote for a new president in less then 50 days remaining.So, Who is expected to win?
The next election will be the second presidential election since Somaliland seceded from the rest of Somalia on 18 may 1991 and proclaimed its independence status.It will be the second election since the introduction of multiparty democracy system.The last presidential election had taken place in 2003 and the incumbent president and UDUB chairman Dahir Riyale kahin has narrowly won with less than 80 votes.
The three candidates who are contesting in the upcoming presidential elections are Somaliland’s incumbent president and UDUB party chairman,Dahir Riyale Kahin,Ahmed Mahamed Siilaanyo,KULMIYE party chairman and and one of the longest serving leaders of SNM which was a resistance movement against dictator Siad Barre’s rule in late 1980’s,and Faysal ALi Warabe,a young returnee from diaspora and chairman of the first opposition party in somaliland UCID.
Rumours has it, that there will be a very hot contest between incumbent president Dahir Riyale Kahin and chairman of the biggest opposition party Ahmed Mahamed Siilaanyo.Whoever wins its predicted that the upcoming presidential elections would be a narrowest of margins and a hot contest as it happened in 2003 elections.
Many people believe(including me) that Kulmiye party will won in a landslide victory if the election becomes free,fair and transparent.
The government’s inability to tackle corruption,interference of electoral commission,lack of job opportunities,arrest of politicians,presidents ban of potential candidates from competing with him for the party nominations which resulted his UDUB party to split into two factions,the restriction of free media,the governments lack of accountability to its own people,the recent outburst of Somaliland vice president Ahmed Yusuf Yasin that union with Somalia is inevitable and there is no boundaries between them which shocked not only the ordinary people but also other prominent figures,politicians,members of parliament,together this and many other aspects might led KULMIYE party as a favourite for the upcoming presidential election.
In other side UCID party chairman has good chances of winning the upcoming elections as he is a charismatic politician who is known to deliver powerful, encouraging speeches.The chairman of UCID party travels frequently to spread Somalilands agenda to overseas countries to become a recognized independent country. A visionary, who hopes to transform Somaliland into a modern society.He is the only prominent leader who stays away from clanism by delivering messages that discourages people against clanism.
But his chances of winning the upcoming presidential elections is slender.
Abdirisak Ismail Esse
International Relations and Political Science,(IIUI)