September 11, 2018

Following its foundation in 1998 after disappointing failures in many attempts and trials at Somali National Reconciliation Conference to re-instate the failed State of Somalia, the people of Puntland demonstrated their full trust in the State intitutions, while keeping the peace and security in the regions. They generously supported the successive Puntland administrations with tax revenue and patience on inadequate public service delivery.There were trying times for the continued survival of State as a functioning autonomous administration amid continued and stubborn chaos of South-Central Somalia.
As a shining example, a young man from the Somali diaspora told me about his experience when he traveled to visit his relatives in the City of Galkayo a few years ago. While he was still In town, he went out one day to visit his aunt, a small shop owner. As he approached her shop, she was about to close the door to go somewhere for an half hour. The man asked her to let him in for a minute to discuss something with her. She told him she couldn’t do that as she was rushing out to pay her tax to the government. Surprised, the young guy asked her, “how could you pay tax when you don’t get any services in return?” Her response was stunning. “If the government pays the salary of these wild militia, me and my shop will be safe, and that is good enough for me”, she said.
Successive Puntland administrations, however, abysmally failed in the “Democratization Process” mandated for every elected leader, save the founding administration of 1998. Puntland failed to extirpate itself from the founding clan power-sharing arrangement, which is increasingly becoming a recipe for election violence disharmony and a threat to peace, security and unity.
Of particular disappointment in Puntland State of Somalia is the legacy of last Puntland Election in January 8, 2014, when the incumbent administration was installed amid dangerous electoral tension with a narrow minority mandate, and on a strong pledge by its Leader, Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gaas), to work towards multi-party Municipal and State elections by suffrage through “One Person One Vote” in 2019. It is unfortunate that we have to repeat that painful exercise one more time in 2019 Puntland Presidential Election.
The people of Puntland State of Somalia want and expect from their leaders, from now on, to solemnly commit themselves to:
  1. Lberating occupied parts of Puntland, strethening of unity and deepening peace and security in the State.
  2. Fighting against corruption in all its manifestations.
  3. Fostering socio-economic and socio-political performance and progress in both public and private sectors, while introducing and maintaining public policy initiatives and regulations for rigorous fiscal responsibility.
  4. Enlisting political pluralism, starting preparatory work from day one of the new mandate.
  5. Improving cooperation with the FGS and playing leadership role in strenthening federalism and constitutionality of Federal public institutions and operations.
The people of Puntland has been showing extreme patience for too long as they suffer under false promises and pledges on better lives by unscrupulous politicians and leaders. The time has come to demand accountability from Puntland political establishment.
A POLITICAL PLATFORM of a candidate is necessary and important to electors to know. A candidste must have a political program and a conviction to put this into actionable pledges. Ordinary person in the street should be able to know what that aspirant to public office stands for. People are tired of entertaining someone’s wish to be president without plan for action after election.
By Ismail H. Warsame

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

About the blogger: This blog is associated with the former Chief of Staff in Puntland State Presidency, 1998-2005. He also worked with the UN and World Bank Joint Secretariat for Somalia’s Re-construction and Development Program (RDP), 2005-2006, as a Zonal Technical Coordinator for Puntland and later as National Aid Technical Coordinator with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and European Union. He is now an independent political analyst and commentator on current issues and occasionally gives historical perspective on modern Somalia’s politics. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at: ismailwarsame@gmail.com

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