In Somaliland election, one candidate stirs hope for int’l recognition

0
Muse Bihi, a Somaliland presidential candidate

Muse Bihi, 69, a former military colonel who announced his presidential ambition last year under the ticket of his party, Kulmiye founded by the outgoing Somaliland president Ahmed Silanyo has high hopes in securing the enclave’s fifth presidency’s seat.

By Jamal Ibrahim, jamal@alleastafrica.com

HARGEISA – As the tussle for the presidential election in the breakaway northern Somalia republic of Somaliland has grown keener, one candidate stands strong as he hopes he would push forward the long-standing struggle for an international recognition.

Muse Bihi, 69, a former military colonel who announced his presidential ambition last year under the ticket of his party, Kulmiye founded by the outgoing Somaliland president Ahmed Silanyo has high hopes in securing the enclave’s fifth presidency’s seat.

In recent weeks, Mr. Bihi has has embarked on an election campaign across Somaliland guided by his key election promises of “empowering law, combating corruption and tribalism, promoting economic infrastructure and helping the poor along with administrative reform”.

“The country cannot be under darkness any longer – If i am elected, I shall prioritize the empowerment of the law and that will be my guiding principle in leading the country into prosperity.” He said in his election manifesto.

“The nationalism should supersede tribalism, person and that’s the path to the democracy system that we chose as our guiding principle.” he said.

Muse Bihi, a Somaliland presidential candidate speaks to his support in Burao, in the east of Somaliland

TESTING OF WAR

Mr. Bihi, one of the most experienced politicians in Somaliland who helped post-conflict reconciliation process and the reconstruction of Somaliland has spent almost his entire life in Somaliland, making him the only candidate on the list seen by many equipped with exceptional knowledge about the region.

CAREER

Born into a middle-class family in 1948 in Hargeisa, Muse Bihi who secured his first Military Air force and Pilot Training degree from Djemba military academy in Russia run by the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1970 was one of the first four Somali military officers to visit the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (The Pentagon) in 1981.

In 1981, the former military colonel has also attended a short course on Ethical Issues in the Global Arms Industry in Dayton, Ohio before he moved to Fort Lee military academy in Virginia where he has attended short courses in military science.

Muse Bihi, a Somaliland presidential candidate cuts ribbon to a new office for his party in Burao, in the east of Somaliland last week.

FAMILY

Muse Bihi, a father of seven lives with his family in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital which has been his political base since he ventured into politics in 1990s.

“All grievances will be over once we move to fight corruption and tribalism, preserve nationhood by following the law as its – and that’s the line we shall start from in protecting national property and once we overcome those obstacles we shall be able to protect the rights of everyone.” Bihi who was chosen to become the flagbearer of Kulmiye party for upcoming November presidential election said.

NOVEMBER 13, 2017 ELECTIONS

Muse Bihi, a Somaliland presidential candidate claps for local footballers at a stadium in Hargeisa during a football match held under the sponsorship of his party.

Currently, three candidates from the three top political parties have expressed interest in the upcoming presidential election as president Silanyo is expected to end his one term plus eight months extension mandate.

If elected, Mr. Bihi will be the 5th president of Somaliland which has broken away from Somalia in 1991 and will serve four years which can be renewed twice.

According to political observers in Somaliland, the upcoming election will be highly contested, with all parties continue to campaign across Somaliland.

Muse Bihi, a Somaliland presidential candidate in (behind row line) poses for a photo group with local journalists in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital.

In the meantime, Mr. Bihi can bank on the backing of heavyweight politicians who threw their support behind him, considering him to be a man who can promote the long-lasting battle for an international recognition.

The former British protectorate has been battling for an international recognition since it broke away from the rest of Somalia in 1991, however no country has so far recognize it as an independent state.

(Additional reporting and editing by Judy Maina in Nairobi, Kenya) 

Copyright ©2017 Alleastafrica.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Alleastafrica.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Alleastafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY