Finnish may be Somaliland’s next president

Abdulkadir Abdi on Finland’s Somalia Network knows the two presidential candidates by name

Two out of three presidential candidates are affiliated with Finland when Somaliland goes to elections on Monday after more than two years of waiting.

This is the third time Somaliland chooses president since the region declared its independence.The sitting president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud , termed office two years ago, and after that the election has been postponed several times. In June 2015, both the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held until April 2017. In April, elections will be held once again due to severe drought.

According to Tarja Fernández , Finland’s ambassador to Kenya, Eritrea, Seychelles, Somalia and Uganda, the likelihood that the presidential election will be postponed once again is very small.

“The election is technically prepared by the National Electoral Commission, so I think it will get rid of,” said Tarja Fernández three days before the election day.

In the presidential election, three candidates are set up and two of them have strong links with Finland.

Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi worked at Somalia’s Embassy in Russia between 1988-1996, after which he moved to Finland to his family who had already lived here for a few years. He became active in Finland’s Socialist Party. Now he distributes his time between Somaliland and his home in the Helsinki suburb.

“There are several who allocate their time between Somalia and another country. The fact that they hold high positions or are politically active in Somalia or Somaliland is no obstacle to it, says Abdulkadir Abdi, who himself came to Finland almost 27 years ago.

The other candidate related to Finland is Faysal Ali Warabe who came from Somalia to Finland in 1990. Now he benefits his time between Finland and Somaliland when his children were born in Finland and the family home is in Espoo, says Abdulkadir Abdi, who is familiar with him.

– Faysal is a Finnish citizen. I’m not sure if Abdirahman has Finnish citizenship or not, but both speak Finnish, “says Abdulkadir Abdi.

According to Abdulkadir Abdi, both candidates know each other for several years.

“They knew each other from Somalia before they met Finland,” he said.

The third candidate in Somaliland’s presidential election is Muse Bihi Abdi, who represents the leading party in Somaliland, the liberal party Kulmiye.

The presidential candidates represent the three political parties in Somaliland where the number of political parties is limited to three in Somalia’s constitution. The other two parties are the Social Democratic Party UCID, which stands for justice and welfare and is the largest opposition party. The party was founded in 2006 by Faysal Ali Warabe. The third party is the social-liberal party Wadani, founded by Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi in 2001.

“There are several political parties in Somaliland that are good and they are needed, but the clans in the region still play a major part in how the region is governed,” said Fernández.

Somaliland’s president has economic, political and representative influence. Main issues in the presidential election are political reform, economy, dialogue with Somalia, Berbera port and military base.

It is primarily regional and in the political dialogue with Somalia and Mogadishu as the Somalian president is active and has the power to influence. Fernández tells Finland to visit the region and conduct development cooperation, although Finland officially does not recognize Somaliland as a state.

Current President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud has had the post since 2010. He is the fourth president since Somaliland proclaimed independence in 1991. The president’s term of office is usually five years, but the current president has been sitting for seven years when the presidential election has been postponed.

Somaliland

  •  Independence was proclaimed May 18, 1991 after long-standing dictator of Somalia, Siad Barre,  overthrow.
  • Not recognized as a state of the international community, but as a self-governing region in Somalia.
  • Between 3.5-4 million people are expected to live in Somaliland.
  • Third presidential election since 1991.
  • Issues own passports recognized by eight countries.

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