Somaliland remained unrecognised for the past 29 years even though the country fulfilled all prerequisites to get international acceptance from the world communities. In the past three decades, Somaliland has so far approved constitution, own currency, judiciary system and maintained its stability, peace, economic growth and diplomatic relations with the international community. Besides, built its army to secure land and maritime borders as well as fight counter-terrorism and piracy that operate actively in the region, especially neighbouring Somalia.
Moreover, Somaliland had held three presidential elections as well as have elected parliament, and local councils that costed millions of dollars to our taxpayers and the international community.
However, all of these efforts made by the Somaliland for the past three decades are the basic characteristics of democracy and development. But our diplomatic message sent to the regional organisations (IGAD), African Union and the global super powers of Europe and the USA did not go through even though the four consecutive elected governments of Somaliland knocked every door to sell the democratic successes and milestones we achieved since 1991.
Therefore, to sustain democracy, Somaliland need to maintain the democratic principles including creating self-dependent society, embracing diversity, gender equality, freedom of thought and social justice. In addition, Somaliland must avoid delaying elections and for this to happen, the mandated government, parliament and the opposition parties should think critically and solve any kind of challenges that may cause delay of elections.
In Somaliland, elections were delayed for no reason while parliamentary election process related by-laws are still draft and not finalised. Furthermore, election schedules are not well planned, and considered as an important assignment for realising democracy and receiving diplomatic acceptance from the international community. Yet, elections, peace, stability, good governance, corruption control are the most valued indicators when assessing the country’s democracy.
Therefore, as long as the election stakeholders of political parties reached a consensus agreement that was facilitated by the EU since the beginning of this year of 2020. The political parties of Somaliland (Kulmiye, Waddani and Ucid), National Election Commission (NEC) as well as the parliament should speed up the election process to elect our next parliament representatives and local councillors.
For this to happen, Somaliland parliament must finalise those draft bylaws and approve the commissioners submitted by the opposition political parties earlier in this year. Otherwise, this will affect Somaliland’s long-awaited recognition and willingness to enjoy democracy in our country, Somaliland.
By Khalid S. Dirir