Final night time was as soon as once more an evening to recollect! It was the Puntland time that comes as soon as each 5 years – the time to see democracy experimenting on the native stage. For that reason, I stayed up till 1 a.m. to observe all of the electoral procedures reside, the place the inhabitants democratically selected a brand new president, Mr. Stated Abdullah Deni, via a proxy home. of 66 clan representatives composed primarily of males of all ages. The administration of the occasion was accomplished with none screaming.
The icing on the cake was bringing collectively a gaggle of excessive caliber candidates – most of the candidates offered a wealth of labor expertise, an excellent understanding of the technical elements of governance and years of working within the personal sector. To rise like a sphinx out of a area crowded with greater than 20 candidates was an try; nonetheless, you instantly knew that whoever will get the primary place will command our collective respect; this distinction went to Stated Abdullahi Deni because the clock ticked round 1 am my native time.
Puntland’s new parliament has turned out to be much less variety to the previous president, Dr Abdiweli Gaas; his first defeat got here when the Home overwhelmingly rejected his hand-picked candidate for the presidency. As if that wasn’t sufficient, Gaas himself was denied sufficient votes to get previous the primary spherical. Nonetheless, like his predecessors, he took defeat with nice strides and with dignity.
It is at all times a good time to be virtually a part of the Puntland expertise from afar. The elimination of Dr Abdiweli Gaas and a number of other of my good racing buddies so early within the course of was broadcast and was concluded at 11pm. Within the second spherical, solely three robust candidates, Farah Shire, Normal Asad and Stated Deni, had been introduced as having handed to the second spherical. Shortly after midnight, the present president-elect Stated Deni was declared the winner with 35 votes in opposition to 31 for his competitor. This consequence, whereas serving to to crown Stated Deni, indicated the intense way forward for Normal Asad in Puntland politics.
President-elect Stated Deni, with whom I had an extended and fruitful dialogue in July 2018 in Nairobi, is a businessman with a contact of gentleness. Light, however agency and clear on his objectives, President-elect Deni instantly took decisive motion – he’s issuing an govt order to restrict all monetary withdrawals from the Central Financial institution of Puntland or Hawals on behalf of his administration. It stays to be seen whether or not this decisive motion will lead later in his administration to assault the sources plundered by the present leaders. Nonetheless, it’s a essential step.
Throughout my transient assembly with Mr Deni, we talked about two main areas: his robust perception within the existence of Puntland, which is a part of his political philosophy. On this regard, he’s adamant and comfortable in defending the integrity of the state of Puntland whereas adhering to the ideas of federalism. Minimizing political confrontations between the state and the Fed whereas strengthening collaboration may emerge as its modus operand of labor.
Additionally it is dedicated to job creation. As a profitable businessman, President-elect Deni absolutely understands that prudent public coverage and good governance are the muse for strengthening and increasing the area’s financial sector. And that will require him to prioritize applications that generate jobs.
Whereas all of that is good and dandy. challenges await him.
First, it’s completely essential to prepare a reconciliation convention for the Puntlanders. The outgoing president promised in 2014 to carry such a convention, however by no means stored. In fact, there isn’t any open battle, however the firm has misplaced esteem, consistency and belief in recent times.
Al-Shabaab’s invasion of Garacad whereas President Gaas was touring North America, the mindless insurance policies on Method 4.5 and the empty guarantees to deliver Puntland again to at least one particular person, one voice of ‘by 2019 have collectively eroded public belief in favor of widespread political apathy.
If President-elect Deni could make a small proportion of a number of the suggestions within the shifting sermon delivered on the opening of the elections by Puntland’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Dahir Ahmed, Puntland and its individuals can be in a greater place one yr any further.
The second downside considerations the number of the cupboard. President-elect Deni should replicate on this historic slogan popularized by one among Somalia’s most trustworthy politicians who occurs to be from Puntland: I’m referring to the late Prime Minister Abdirazak Haji Hussein “Maxaa taqaaan, oon ahay ayaa taqaan” , or hiring individuals primarily based on “what they know, not who they know.” In a way, the place potential, we count on Mr. Deni to step away from present nepotism and lead the age-old however by no means pale slogan we inherited from one among Somalia’s founding fathers.
This phrase was related then (within the Nineteen Sixties) and additionally it is right now. I’ll provide President-elect Deni a modest piece of recommendation that I gave in useless to Prime Minister Omar Abdi Rashid in March 2015 whereas he was forming his cupboard. I gave him a formulation the place he can kill two birds with one stone that satisfies each the agency’s well-known 4.5 choice and qualification formulation. That is what I wrote to him then, considering that the PM was a critical particular person to search out out that nothing bothers him.
My suggestion was for Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid to ask every strain group, to learn every clan that has the appropriate to obtain a cupboard submit, to provide him the curriculum vitae of three candidates of their respective selections. From this checklist as PM he’ll select essentially the most certified one that additionally shares his imaginative and prescient. That manner, he can fulfill the clan strain and the abilities wanted to do the job at hand.
Mr. President-elect, please do one thing a bit of completely different from the outdated clan-based quota system, which makes good governance a dream within the stalled restoration of Somalia. Puntland deserves higher than what we now have seen prior to now 5 years. Bear in mind, too: the place Puntland goes, the remainder of Somalia goes too.
The third and troubling problem is to discover a strategy to resolve Sool, Sanaag and Cayn’s downside. [SSC]. Muse Bihi, former soldier of the Somali Nationwide Motion, however he reveals a propensity to handle conflicts by army means. It may pose challenges for the brand new administration in Puntland. To successfully take care of threats from Somaliland, President-elect Deni should work intently with the federal authorities and with the individuals of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn.
My final level considerations the timing of this new presidency. Mr. Deni takes up his duties for a single interval; Villa Somalia is disconnected from the primary regional governments. The truth is, there may be an undeclared battle between Jubbland and Villa Somalia. Galmudug additionally does not have an actual relationship.
Hirshabelle president unequivocally insinuated his give up for worry of shedding Mogadishu’s monetary assist. And the South West fiasco, notably the dying of round 30 Somalis by the hands of Ethiopian troopers who’re members of AMISOM, is much less comforting and stains Villa Somalia.
A associated concern, which Puntland’s new president should instantly deal with, is the implications of the fallout from Villa Somalia which expelled Mr. Nicholas Hysom, particular envoy of UNSOM. Will Puntland be a part of the answer in order that it will probably interact constructively with the UN and assist ameliorate the battle between the 2, or search to revive the now-defunct two-track coverage of donors? within the previous days? Will he use his good workplaces to mediate not solely between UNSOM and Villa Somalia, but additionally between Villa Somalia and the federal states?
A lot is anticipated of Puntland within the type of management; With all of those challenges at hand, all of us count on the brand new administration, as we now have had prior to now, to show maturity, use its diplomatic abilities and political acumen to mediate. between Villa Somalia and federal entities and between Villa Somalia and UNSOM. Puntland is robust when Somalia is united and Somalia is united when Puntland is robust.
This symbiotic relationship between Garowe and Mogadishu is just not solely essential, however what the individuals of Puntland and Somalis generally count on. As Mufti Sheikh Dahir mentioned in his opening sermon, Puntland ought to serve the oppressed and convey all Somalis collectively. That is our threshold for evaluating Mr. Deni and his administration. Good luck Mr. President.
By Faisal Roble
The opinions expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t essentially replicate the editorial place of Axadle.