The new president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi will be inaugurated as fifth president on December 13, 2017, after his victory of a tight contest with the country’s two opposition candidates but ultimately a legitimate election when his main challenger, Abdurrahman Mohamed Abdilahi (Irro) conceded a defeat and called for national unity. The election of the new president in Somaliland has attracted the eyes and attention of the neighboring countries as well as the international community. Thus, his inauguration is believed to be a tribute to democratic presidential election that took place peacefully in the country last November in this year but to overcome many challenges is an examination for the new president elected.
The International Election Mission congratulated the way, the election was performed by Somaliland government in collaboration with the local citizens for whom, nothing could have been successfully done without their support and I am here to thank for all Somaliland citizens, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the political parties for doing their responsibility and commitment that led the peaceful poll into a positive conclusion by electing a competent leader expected to solve many domestic and foreign social problems.
The challenges that are ahead of the new president could be internal and external issues. However, let us state that the domestic challenges are to be; uniting the people after many clans splintered into groups during the election campaign, dealing with inflation, poverty, poor healthcare, education, corruption, silence of the rule of law, the reform of all government institutions and tremendous youth unemployment which are all threats to social stability and peace in Somaliland. Such internal challenges will be hindering at any success of his administration if not given a full contemplation and careful actions against them.
Additionally, one of the most politically awaited pressing internal matter for the new president is the implementation of Khatumo agreement with Somaliland that will pave the way for a lasting peaceful existence in the country and will also fortify the national cohesion and the solidarity of Somalilanders at last in which the out-going president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) signed on October, 20th in Anaibo, Saraar region. The agreement is centered on five main principles such as national unity, power-sharing, living together in peace, national development and uniting against all external threats.
The external challenges are also included by the long waited pending recognition of Somaliland depending on the new design; the president comes with talks between Somaliland and Somalia, the improvement of current poor diplomatic relations with African Union, Arab Muslim countries and the international partners to Somaliland which was worsened by the successive delays of country’s elections.
As a final point of my writing, the new president is expected to form a clean government free from corruption as well as strengthening the relationship with the UAE that signed a contract of $ 442 million investment project with Somaliland that was highly politicized but now the new president will also have the opportunity to improve it and gain the confidence of the nation showing them that the project implementation will be transparent that will formulate the country as a hub of economic development in the Horn of Africa and the rest of the world.
Muse Jeeh, Freelance writer