HELSINKI (Somalilandpress) — Construction engineer Faisal Ali Farah, a naturalised Finnish citizen living in Espoo, is running for the office of President of Somaliland in elections scheduled for the coming autumn.
Somaliland, which declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia in 1991, has taken gradual steps toward democracy. A referendum on a constitution was held in 2001, the first local elections were held in 2002, and a multiparty democracy was adopted in 2003, at which time the first presidential elections were held.

Officially, the President of Somaliland has a five-year term of office, but the term of the first holder of the office has been extended three times because of problems involving voter registration, suspicions of corruption on the election commission, and civil unrest.
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Somali-born Faisal Ali Farah says that if he is elected, he would invite Somalis living abroad to Somaliland for consultation. Faisal has studied political science at the University of Helsinki, and he identifies politically with the Social Democrats, while characterising himself as a technocrat.

Faisal has travelled around Europe and the United States to meet other expatriate Somalis. They are not entitled to vote in the elections of their home country unless they go there to register, but they have considerable influence on their compatriots.
They also help finance election campaigns.
Faisal hopes to form a broad-based government mainly comprising technocrats. Of the 18 portfolios in the government, he wants to give five to women, and is proposing a 20 per cent quota for women at various levels of administration. He also wants to amend parts of the constitution involving the rights of women and minorities.
He also calls for better water systems, and wants to encourage the planting of trees on a food-for-pay basis.

Faisal Ali Farah was also a candidate in the 2003 elections, under the name Faisal Ali Warabe.
Although it declared itself independent 19 years ago, Somaliland has not yet been officially recognised by the international community.

Source: Helsingin Sanomat, 4th March 2010


  1. It could be possible that the expatriate participate in the election. It is easier to conduct than in the country. What it only needs is a verification about the voters who live abroad, e.g. that the person is a Somalilander. The EU and especially the Scandinavian would be so friendly to organize this remote voting for their new fellow citizen from Somaliland. Persons like Mr. Faisal who strive for more democracy and a better constitution in Somaliland would be able to arrange the participation of all the Somalilanders in the democratic development and constitution building. The constitution we have now is very limited, with mistakes and not compatible to our culture. We should have constitution that makes a military coup impossible, that protects each single person from poverty by making the mag paying group responsible for their relatives by law etc. These and many more has to be considered. Our constitution was written and completed very swiftly. Good that Faisal thinks that the constitution has to be improved. Hopefully our future politicians will work on it continuously.

  2. This so called tribal based UCID Party leader will never become our president. He's so unintelligent and uneducated. UDUB should rule SL forever or we would lose everything again.

    • Why UDUB forever? Perhaps you also believed that Siyad Barre should have ruled us for forever.

  3. If Faisal Ali Warabe holds a Finnish Citizen, he is not qualified to run for SL president. According to the Somaliland constitution, Article 82(1), which defines the Conditions for Eligibility for Election as President or Vice-President, a presidential / vice-presidential nominee"… must be a citizen of Somaliland by birth, and, notwithstanding residence as a refugee in another country, must not hold any other citizenship".

    This definitely disqualifies Mr. Warabe. Also if proven, the same may be true for the Vice-Presidential candidate of UCID and Presidential candidate of KULMIYE, Mr. Silanyo. Unless UCID and KULMIYE prove otherwise before the elections, the presidency will surely go to UDUB. That is to say, even if UDUB loses the election, the ruling party wins the presidency by default given the constitutional condition of ARTICLE 82 which bars both UCID and KULMIYE candidates from being elected as Presdent of Somaliland f (despite the rumors, the KULMIYE case has yet to be provent).

    M Hared