XISBIGA MIDNIMADA IYO HORUMARINTA SOMALILAND
- KULMIYE Party 2 Convention
- 29-31 March 2008
- The Speech of the Chairman of the Party
- AXMED MAXAMED SILANYO,
It is a pleasure and joy to welcome you at the 2nd anniversary of KULMIYE convention. At the same time, I am disheartened that many KULMIYE members, activists and distinguished statesmen and women, some overseas and some within the country were unable to attend and participate the convention for various reasons. Rest assured that you are in our hearts and minds even though you are out of sight.
As you are aware, this convention was supposed to be held at an earlier date but due to prolonged negotiations about many issues that confront us as a political party and as a country, we were unable to hold it earlier but while some might have been displeased by the delay, one should take note that the delay has accorded the party an opportunity to welcome many communities who joined the party in droves but if it has caused inconvenience to anyone I say sorry and I take responsibility for the delay.
It is important to delineate what KULMIYE stands for and its vision. The cornerstone of KULMIYE’s vision is the development and the institutionalizing of a lasting organization that embodies the aspirations of the people: Peace and security, economic and social development, democracy, unity, justice underpinned by accountability and transparency and a relentless campaign towards political recognition that leads to UN membership
Of all the three national political parties KULMIYE was the last one to be established. KULMIYE Party was registered as a political association (temporary) on May 20, 2002. It was later, specifically on September 7, 2002 that KULMIYE was recognized and registered as a political party that met all the requirements and was given the go-ahead to participate the Local Government elections. As a result of its status on the local elections KULMIYE was recognized as a national political party on December 24, 2002
Immediately after the local elections, the party held its 1st convention whereby the party adopted its constitution, political platform and elected the political leadership of the party
You recall that many of the leaders of the ill-fated political parties that failed to meet the criteria of National parties particularly “Hormood”, “Asad” and “Sahan” have joined and strengthened the party. It was at his juncture that KULMIYE blossomed as a formidable contender
If we reflect and look back on the elections that were held particularly the presidential (2003) and the parliamentarian (2005) elections, KULMIYE got the most votes 4 out of the 6 regions( Hargeysa, Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool) while it got the second spot on the remaining regions (Saaxil and Awdal). If you take a good look at the map of the country, focus and analyze the pattern and distribution of voting you would come to the conclusion that KULMIYE and not UDUB enjoyed a better and more diverse allegiance. Alas, at the end, it came down to mere 80 votes. That is history today. Despite the loss KULMIYE is proud to have ceded victory to save the country from the political chaos that engulfed the region. That unwavering concession has earned KULMIYE accolades from the international community and the people of Somaliland. In fact it made the headlines on the news of some major countries. It is hard to fathom, what would have become of Somaliland today if I like other African leaders would have challenged the legitimacy of the election results.
In regard to the Parliamentarian election, KULMIYE got the silver (2nd position) but have forged a political coalition with UCID party so as to take the leadership of the Parliament. This was a successful step that cemented the opposition solidarity and it was also an step that has shown the political maturity of KULMIYE Party once again
KULMIYE is a national party that has succeeded in opening branches and offices in all over the country as well as branches that function and operate in Europe, North America, Australia and the Arabian Peninsula. It is satisfying to illuminate by citing below how and where the Party, its members and its activists have played a major role:
- Promoting sustainable peace and combating terrorism; KULMIYE by extension of its members of “Dhoqoshay” Township has captured and apprehended the foreign terrorists who have killed and wounded expatriates just to spat on the peaceful reputation of the country
- Supporting numerous self-help projects on infrastructure (cash and in-kind) including the construction and the rehabilitation of the bridges in Burco and Hargeysa as well as several incidents of natural disasters that affected many communities. The most recent assistance were that of Laascaanood hospital and the pharmaceutical equipment and medicines that came form KULMIYE Supporters from North America which KULMIYE have handed over to the Ministry of health so that it should distribute to the country.
- Campaigning relentlessly towards ascension to UN membership
- Promoting the development, the strengthening of the institutions and the civil society and the communities they live in
- Encouraging foreign and Diaspora investment in the areas of industries and education particularly higher education, health and other developmental projects
- Securing foreign non-traditional markets for our livestock and the promotion of market oriented economy and combating corruption
- Embracing and erring on the side of human rights and freedom of expression
- Supporting unconditionally the youth, women’s issues, and the associations of the SNM disabled freedom fighters
- Co-operating with the legislative branches of the government
- Supporting the armed and the security forces and congratulating them the victories they achieved and serving their country well
- Supporting and giving guidance to the youth, the civil society and the sports associations morally and financially in many ways
Some Significant Historical Points
Before I delve into the second section of my speech, I would like to comment briefly on the state of the country and the behavioral disposition of our people.
Somaliland is the first place in all over the ethnic Somali regions where independence was first promulgated and a Somali flag was hoisted on June 26, 1960. Historically, Somalilanders were the first people migrated to overseas specially the Arabian Peninsula, the British Isles, the rest of Europe and North America. Somaliland is geographically located in a strategic position that is globally recognized and has significance for the Middle East stability and the shipping of oil cargo. It is pertinent to point out that, aside from its strategic geographical location, Somaliland is endowed with natural resources such as coveted minerals, oil and more. On top of that it is blessed with abundance in livestock, fishery and a promising agriculture.
Somaliland has once foolishly gave away its golden opportunity to become a UN member by handing over its sovereignty but it has restored back the lost opportunity after a long costly struggle that is punctuated by the loss of its sons and daughters and the destruction of its cities. SNM has not only succeeded in restoring Somaliland’s independence but it has also succeeded in enshrining the Constitution of the country the principles it fought for: peaceful co-existence, democracy, market-oriented economy, economic development. Furthermore, it continues to contribute and strengthen the development of the civil society and more importantly it continues promoting and engaging the crusade of UN ascension.
The public deserves praise for the manner and the role they played in the reconstruction and the rehabilitation of the country and the strengthening and the sustainability of the peaceful co-existence and its positive outlook that defies and overcame hardships that are debilitating and sometimes demoralizing be it in the form of long periods of drought, rains that come in the form of storms, other ecological disasters and pandemic diseases.
The State of the Country
But the sad thing is the Nation that has survived all of these hardships by its own resilience; the Nation that has contributed effortlessly in the rebuilding of its country and its economy; the Nation that has enshrined the tenets of good governance on its constitution has been short-changed and derailed by an unscrupulous and incompetent administration that has reversed the economic gains, paralyzed the legislative institutions, demoralized and diminished the aspirations of its people. It is my obligation to mention the unspeakable acts of mismanagement and the egregious policies, which this administration has time and again practiced without shame. It is a travesty that has dampened the goodwill and dimmed the hope. The constitutional infractions, the lack of due process and the mockery of the judicial system that has become a rubber stamp for the executive; the gross human rights violations; the muffling and the suffocation of the freedom of expression and the media; the endemic corruption that has become the norm; the commandeering of the market-oriented economy into monopolization and the marginalization of the entrepreneurial spirit that our people are known for have all become too familiar. What could be a better example than the livestock trade, which such policies are emblematic in the once thriving livestock trade that has now migrated to Bosaaso and Djibouti.
Moreover, the Nations budget has become a figment of the past since the government abandoned it two years ago. The intentional marginalization of the legislative branch and other government agencies and institutions is a deliberate design to frustrate the legislative oversight. The numerous cooperative and commercial agreements that defy transparency and accountability, which this administration contracts with foreign entities clandestinely without first bringing it to the attention of the legislative branch much less securing its approval is a gross constitutional violation. Sadly, they are busy in beefing up their pockets while the suffering of the people goes on and on.
Highlights of KULMIYE Agenda
This brings me to expound the policies of KULMIYE Party on a wide range of issues. Firstly, it must be understood that as an opposition party KULMIYE has an obligation and a responsibility to identify, to poke and to disclose the mischievous behavior and the transgression as well as the shortcomings of this Administration without malice. KULMIYE has kept its responsibility of strengthening, fostering and nurturing the peace and contributing to its economic development so as to build a viable Nation that speaks in one language when it comes to its political development. Secondly, KULMIYE would present to you today its political and economic platform that would be adopted as soon as it comes to power. If I may I would like to list in a general manner the highlights of KULMIYE’s agenda:
- Complying and adhering closely and protecting the Constitution
- Correcting the abuses and flagrant mismanagement that this Administration has exacted on the socio-economic and political fronts would be a priority.
- Safeguarding the independence of the judiciary and the facilitation of its necessary requirements
- Streamlining and improving the institutional capacity of all the government agencies and entities
- Strengthening free enterprise and market oriented economy
- Applying transparency and accountability in all government dealings and transactions
- Implementing financial regulations so as to ensure accountability
- Restructuring of tax laws and the streamlining or reducing tariffs and the rates that apply to the stable foods and other necessary consumer items.
- Facilitating and removing the bureaucracy and complications in Import and Export trade
- Designing and implementing a business plan that could raise the service level of Berbera Port to a level that is competitive and comparable to other Ports in the region and building the capacity of the civil servants
- Appointing independent Boards, including but not limited to, the Central Bank, Berbera Port and the government run media after evaluating and reviewing the policies, regulations and all the procedures that govern authorities and independent agencies.
- Developing the infrastructure and the communication by giving priority to regional roads that connect Hargeysa to Burco, Hargeysa to Awdal and Burco to Ceerigavo
- Giving priority to education, health services; develop the skills and the capacity of the youth and the civil society and women
Sool and Sanaag Regions
The people of Somaliland are bound together not by choice but by destiny. Today, fortunately, both the people of Sool and East Sanaag are fully incorporated into the rest of the country, which they share with family ties, cultural values and more importantly a boundary that can’t be negotiated. We appeal to the Administration to assist the people of Sool and East Sanaag morally and financially as have been promised. We are also congratulating the armed forces at the Eastern frontier for their heroism and we applaud the manner and the humane treatment they have shown to the people of both areas. It is our hope that the independent media would have a great role to play to advance the democratic process over those regions. KULMIYE has friendly relationship with the people of that region and it is KULMIYE’s intention to increase its support and earn the trust of those regions at all times.
KULMIYE’s policy towards these regions is to give priority to nurture and foster lasting peace and earn the trust of the people. Along side the promotion of goodwill, it is imperative that tangible comprehensive assistance be given without delay. I am also sure that these two regions would participate and play a greater role in the political setting of the country.
KULMIYE strongly believes that the campaign towards ascension of UN membership is a national duty that eclipses party affiliation but we must remember that what we do at home; how we govern our selves; how we utilize our resources; how we uphold universal principles such as human rights and the freedom of expression; how we apply the rule of law and how we hold elections timely. All of these good or bad would reflect and count towards or against Somaliland’s record. In short we must do our part and not fail.
KULMIYE believes that major issues such as the campaign towards recognition must be treated as a national issue and should be treated as such by bringing in and consulting with the political parties, the parliament and other people who know better to portray a common stand.
Presently, it has become a common practice to evoke the stark difference between Somaliland and Somalia, a Somaliland that has sustained peace and some economic development and Somalia that is mired with violence and civil war.
It is precisely because of that difference that the international community is paying a long awaited attention to Somaliland’s claim of sovereignty and Somaliland must capitalize that flicker of hope by uniting; by upholding universal declarations and by doubling its effort concertedly with the intention to transform that flicker of hope into a full recognition. KULMIYE wholeheartedly welcomes the recent gestures and developments emanating from the Europeans, the Americans and some African countries.
It is worth noting that the African Union (AU) has already removed a hurdle that was blocking the political recognition of Somaliland, which was that the geopolitical borders inherited from the colonial powers can’t be tinkered with. Some might have interpreted this as unfavorable to the Somaliland’s claim. On the contrary, Somaliland is in compliance. it is commonly agreed that it in fact bolsters Somaliland’s situation since Somaliland’s claim isn’t to redraw the boundaries.
As a political party KULMIYE advances and promotes peaceful co-existence with neighbors and respect of the UN Charters and its declarations. KULMIYE is against anything that might disturb the regional peace and stability and all forms of terrorism. KULMIYE underlines the respect and the mutual interest of all governments concerned
KULMIYE is wishing that all violence exacted on the people of Somalia be ceased immediately and is urging all sides to restrain themselves and protect the lives of the innocent people that has suffered so long. We encourage the international community to put pressure on all sides and explore any means that can bring a lasting peace and durable reconciliation that is fair.
Current Issues and Conclusions
Before I conclude I would like to comment briefly about three issues that are currently being debated vigorously:
- The chance that the election could be postponed
- The announcement of new regions and districts
On the 1st issue, let me make it clear that there wouldn’t be any more deceptions and that patience is running thin and any effort to delay the Presidential election would be met with stiff resistance. As is stipulated on the Constitution, the term of the President and his vice-President would end five years after its inauguration, which is May 16, 2008, from the day the President sworn into office. We emphasize that according to the Constitution the term can be extended only under emergency circumstances such as war, a circumstance that doesn’t exist today. Therefore, KULMIYE would neither entertain nor accept any election postponement. Period. If for any reason, the term expires before holding an election, it would be treated as vacant and the current Administration would cease and desist by default in which case an election would be deemed appropriate before chaos sets in. In our view, in the interim, transitional administration of a national coalition should be formed to hold elections immediately.
On the 2nd issue regarding the hastily announced regions and districts, it must be recalled that it came as a response to stem the droves of communities across the country that continue to join KULMIYE Party in their own volition. The most recent group that joined KULMIYE were “ The H/Awal agents of change” group. Just before that KULMIYE held welcoming ceremonies for three communities namely the “Garxajis”, “reer Nuur” and “Maxamed Case” both from Awdal who joined the party on their own volition as well after assessing and concluding that this Administration’s record is dismal. The creation of new regions and districts without comprehensive consultations and without addressing the thorny issues that might pit one community against another and without addressing its fiscal implications might present unintended consequences and challenges. KULMIYE isn’t against the creation of new regions and districts, it questions the sensibility of announcing new ones at this sensitive election year while the other 20 districts or so announced more than five years ago hasn’t been demarcated nor has been bestowed the benefits that come with it (if at all there is any). Regardless, it goes without saying that KULMIYE congratulates the newly announced regions and districts.
On the 3rd issue of voter-registration, KULMIYE understands that voter-registration is necessary for fair and free elections but if it is concluded, after consulting with the stake-holders, that the voter–registration process might take longer than expected which would in turn impact and delay the election itself, then it is necessary to give priority to the timely election and scrap the voter-registration. It is imperative that the elections (presidential and the local) be held on time without delay. Similarly if holding the local elections might delay the presidential election for some reason or the other, the presidential election should be given a priority. In short, delaying the holding of the Presidential election could have grave consequences for the stability of the country and the campaign towards recognition; hence it shouldn’t be delayed at all.
I would like to conclude my remarks by wishing the convention all the success, likewise, I wish a better future for the people of Somaliland, a future marked by peace, prosperity and expedient UN membership
For more on the agenda, please visit: www.KULMIYE.Org
WA BILAAHI TAWFIIQ
MD: AXMED MOHAMED MAXAMOUD ( SIILAANYO).