One of the two opposition parties of the Republic of Somaliland, Waddani, welcomed to its fold, Wednesday, defected, erstwhile members of the ruling party.
Among those who joined forces with Waddani were Hersi Ali Haji Hassan who once held the most powerful position of the incumbent government after President Siilaanyo, Mohamed Behi Yonis, the ex-Foreign Minister, Professor Geedoole, Ex-Minister of Education, Hussein Ahmed Aideed, ex-Minister for Justice, Hussein Ahmed Abdulle, Ex-Minister for Water Resources, Ms Nimo Qawdhan, Ex-vice Minister for Health, then Labor, to deputy chairmen of the ruling party and a number of others.
These members were among a group of high-ranking officials of President Siilaanyo’s administration who stampeded out of the government in late October 2015 to mark their displeasure of the President’s support of Musa Behi Abdi as the party flag-bearer in the up-coming presidential elections.
The move was interpreted by many as a failed coup attempt since it was the first time in the history of Somaliland that over twenty top-notch ‘leaders’ orchestrated a walk-out on their national responsibilities within a week or so of one another in order to bring down, analysts said, the functioning government they served.
At least two of the latest members of Waddani – Hersi and Behi Yonis – had led their supporters to believe that they had their eyes on the highest seat of the government.
Following protracted talks with the Waddani top-brass that took over a year, some positions were officially aired at yesterday’s reception.
In an attempt to re-write conventional structures of democratic, western-style, political parties, Waddani did more damage to itself, its supporters and its most loyal old-guard officers than good.For instance, Waddani split the position of the Chairman-cum-party-leader to two people only sticking a label that was synonymous with the other on each of them.
Hersi was named ‘Party Leader’, Jirde ‘Party Chairman’. Irro elevated himself to that of ‘Party candidate’ to run for the presidency and State leader in the forthcoming presidential elections.
It appears that Jirde, the more educated of the two, has been successfully duped to defer his responsibilities to an over-ambitious Hersi who has convinced himself that he is the only ‘President stuff’ around. To him, even Irro is only another stepping stone to his target as Siilaanyo was before him.
None of the positions are either legal or official until Waddani holds a General Assembly meeting which it yet has to since inception. The GA is the only mandated body to ratify proposed positions. Furthermore, it is doubtful that neither the Constitutional Court nor the National political Associations Registration Committee has legal justification to accept the spliced position of Party Chairman
Mr. Behi Yonis, surprisingly, stood on the sidelines ignored and humiliated coming out as a loser whom defeat was forced on by treachery – choking on his integrity, ambitions, and professed stature.
All the other ex-‘Kulmiyites’ came out, in yesterday’s reception, as ‘best men’ (Minxiisyo) to Hersi’s , sacrificing their positions and reputations for naught.
Other heavy-weight ‘politicians’, all hailing from the South-of-Hargeisa clan (a euphemistic label for Eidagale), who include Ismail Hurreh Buubaa and Ali Sanyare, are expected to add their share to the simmering cauldron of ambitions that is Waddani of today.
Conspicuously, neither Uur’adde nor Dr. Fadal, the incumbent Secretary General and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, respectively, have not said anything meaningful about the merge. Uur’adde’s position is expected to go to Behi Yonis. Dr. Fadal, on the other hand, as the actual, behind-the-scenes, true leader of the Party, sees that his influence on Irro is no more.
The shifts that would come with the new intakes would, doubtlessly, spook party stalwarts. Many of their positions, much of their authority and principles go to the slaughter slab. Most of them are already overshadowed, emerging to the public eye as pall-bearers of their own doomed ends.
However, the final roster of top officers and candidates emerge, Waddani has, certainly, an unprecedented political turbulence ahead that if it survives none few can challenge with less than six months to the elections D-Day. That is, if it does.
These late mergers and alliances augur ill for timely elections, too.
In addition to the new shifting allegiances, neither UCID nor Waddani has yet to officially nominate its flag-bearers as neither has yet to hold its GA meeting. ‘Candidate’ Irro has to yet to resign his position as House Speaker, too.
The law stipulates both have to happen six months before election day on 27 March 2017 – and time is already up due to the opposition parties’ procrastinations.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horn Diplomat’s editorial policy.