Aug 27,2009(SomalilandPress)-Somalilanders elected Dahir Riyale as their first elected president after a long-drawn-out contested election of 2003. The people of Somaliland entrusted Mr. Riyale with the crucial task of ushering the road to a real change based on fairness and justice among the people both in social and economic development, furthermore, to distribute meager resources in all regions, districts, and villages throughout Somaliland equitably. However, after competing his elected five years term and two unconstitutional extensions totaling seven years in power, the president and his ministers squandered and used the limited revenues collected from the poor as regressive taxation and allowed big companies and proprietors to avoid paying their fair share of taxes for their own personal and political gains. The president has nothing much to show of tangible and concrete achievements while in power. The administration in their briefings and press releases often argues that they accomplished a great deal in terms of democratization and good governance and always sates and stress that three consecutive elections were held while in power. But, often fell short to state the fact that it was their responsibility and national obligation to hold those elections and not as political expediency. As such the most anticipated second presidential election would have been held after the first five years term of his presidency expired as delineated in the constitution.
Peace and stability that endured in Somaliland for the last nineteen years was not a product of this administration, but rather a continuum of processes that lasted for more than twenty years and included an armed struggle, genuine reconciliation among the clans initiated by the victorious Somali National Movement (SNM), the Council of Elders GUURTI and the establishment of durable public institutions by the two preceding administrations. It is well established fact that the current administration was elected with all means of governance in place including strong military and police force to maintain peace and stability to continue its mandate. However, as of today and with the lapse of long seven years in power the Somaliland Armed Forces has no rank and seniority to execute their national duties to defend the country. It is mystifying to many people why the president has allowed his military forces to be without ranks, although he is the commander in chief.
If the hard fought peace and stability that distinguished Somaliland from Southern Somalia for nineteen years is lost at the behest of Riyale and his administration and should his administration goes ahead with its presidential election without the full participation of all political parties and attested voter registration in Somaliland, a well thought case ought to be filed at Huge the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC), spear headed by Somaliland Diaspora against the Government of Dahir Riyale for thwarting democratic processes, violating of International Human Rights, and ushering Somaliland to abyss.
After completing his full term of office and subsequent two extensions, it is apparent that the Riyale Administration is adamant about staying in power to exploit any plausible tactic. Henceforth, it is incumbent upon the Somaliland Diaspora to sought and petition for the support of their respected elected politicians round the world to facilitate them to file a strong case against the Riyale Administration in order to bring him at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges if violence and disorder reign in Somaliland after nineteen years of stability due to his penchant for power an means necessary and belligerent and dictatorial tendencies.
Not long ago, the whole world had witnessed the then contested Kenyan election of December 2007 and its violent aftermath. Currently, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is perusing to press charges but, waiting for the Kenyan government to establish special tribunals to take legal action against those politicians accused of masterminding and behind the violence that brought mayhem and destruction to many properties and the death of more than 1500 people.
The Government of Somaliland and its leaders ought to be cognizant of the consequences of their defiance to held free and fair elections using the voter registration list regardless of its limitations. The just completed and published voter registration list by Interpeace it the only feasible way that would facilitate a verifiable free and fair election results free of rigging. If the government goes ahead with it is unwarranted plan and held the impending presidential election without full and unhindered participation of all political parties contesting it, would undeniably cause a rebellion among the disenfranchised citizens, and the outcome would undoubtedly bring turmoil, violence, and chaos not only in Somaliland but throughout the Horn of African region. The peace and stability that the people of Somaliland had forged and protected for nineteen years is momentous than appeasing one man dictatorship and his cohorts who would like to see it destroyed by any means doable. The Riyale government is tirelessly working to provoke the people of Somaliland towards utter destruction and forcing them to act in an undesirable manner to facilitate him to declare that Somaliland is in state of disorder and chaos to enable his administration to extend his unlawful stay in power.
The opposition parties should not compromise with the fundamental constitutional issues that would undermine their credibility and that of the country. Under no circumstances should the opposition consent a compromise that would allow the president to stay in office after the second extension expires on September 27 2009. and execute the recent agreement among the three political parties. In light of the above matter it is unwise for the opposition to consent a third extension if the international mediators exert pressure on them. The most prudent way to go ahead after September 27, 2009 and held free and fair presidential election is to appoint a care taker government to allow an equal opportunity and plain field for all presidential aspirants.
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If Riyale and his administration continue their typical unyielding position as far as this election is concerned, he must take into account that he and only he should bear the full responsibility of any perilous consequences resulting from such fraudulent and concocted election. The Riyale administration is creating and sawing the seeds of general and discontent fear among the people of Somaliland to support his agenda to stay in power indefinitely which is unacceptable to political parties, peace loving world and all Somalilanders.
Riyale should keep in mind that the watchful eyes of all Somalilanders inside and outside the country and that of the international community is watching upon his actions and the manner in which he reaches a just resolution for current constitutional crises in Somaliland in which he is ultimately accountable for it.