Debate 28 March SmallRedsea Cultural Foundation is delighted to host talk and discussion on Somaliland’s Democratic Process, at Hargeysa Culture Centre,
Saturday, 28 March 2015 at 7:30pm | Language: Somali and English

Speakers;  Amina Mahamoud “Milgo” (Researcher and Activist), Dr  Michael Walls, University College London,  Mahamed Ahmed Barawaani (Somaliland Civil Society activist),

Chaired by Suad Ibrahim Abdi, Progressio

Somaliland has achieved a great deal since 1991, including series of elections and other representative institution, but a number of significant challenges remain. On one hand, there are growing problems associated with elections themselves, including significant and increasingly open multiple voting, stuffing of ballot boxes and other electoral malpractice. These worsening problems threaten to undermine the legitimacy of the electoral process itself, creating real risks to the peace that Somaliland has so carefully fostered. On the other hand, there is still far too much emphasis on elections as opposed to the more general process of democracy. Donors and the international diplomatic community are guilty of this, but so are many Somalilanders in different ways. It is, for example, well-established but dangerously incorrect to describe electoral support as ‘democratisation’. That ignores the very important and democratic processes of discussion and consensus-building that necessarily precedes major political decisions, including those decided by elections. This debate will explore the roles that can be played by different actors in supporting a process that maintains the predominantly peaceful political transition that has been taking place in Somaliland, and will attempt to address some difficult issues around the role of elections in that democratic transition.

Redsea Cultural Foundation is a literature and arts organisation based in Hargeysa, Somaliland, which aims to foster a new generation of literate, creative, and open-minded youth who will contribute towards the development of their societies. RCF established Hargeysa Cultural Center last year, and with a theater, art gallery space and a library, the Cultural Centre is intended as a cultural hub for artists in Somaliland as well as international artists visiting the region.