2017 has most certainly been an eventful year for the self-declared nation of Somaliland. From battling with severe drought which had extinguished the lives of more than half of the country’s livestock (an estimate of over 8 million heads). Along with numerous human lives that were also taken at the start of the year. But from a tragic start to the year, the near year’s end brings about hope and bouts of colour through the advent of the upcoming Presidential elections this November 13th.
The past few weeks have been filled with the loud roars of campaign throughout the streets of Hargeisa. Colourful, vibrant and dynamic, these presidential campaigns were also held not only in the capital city but also, all throughout the country. The campaigning went on for three whole weeks with a set division (agreed upon by the heads of each party) for each party to hold their campaign rallies per their day. The campaign schedule began with a day for Ucid, followed by another for Kulmiye and lastly Wadani and so on it went for three whole weeks. On Friday, the rallies finally came to a halt after lighting up the streets both day and night with the citrusy colours of each parties’ flag.
Ordinary people — young and old, came together from all the corners of the country,took to the streets walking in masses of men, women and children. Each and everyone waving their party’s flag while singing and shouting their words of support. This was by far noticed and seen as a one of a kind occurrence and display of patriotic loyalty within the Somali region.
The campaigns also showed flamboyant levels of nationalism and unity which also spoke volumes of a fledgling democracy in action, in all its unkempt, colourful, and chaotic glory. This process is unique only to Somaliland, the best kept secret of Africa. And not all Somalis are given this outstandingly unique opportunity to vote for their future leader in this wonderfully creative manner.
Young and old, everyone was involved with the campaigning. However, the youth of Somaliland were by far the most engaged when it came to proudly showing off their party affiliation all throughout the past twenty days.
BY:DR.AMAL A.YASSIN:GLOBAL NOMAD, MEDICAL DOCTOR, RESEARCHER, ADVOCATE, WRITER. A LOVER OF BEAUTY WITH AN ARTIST’S SOUL.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.
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