An Open Letter to Newly Elect President of Somaliland

Dear, the president elect, Muse Bihi Abdi, I would like to congratulate you on the great and historic victory you received from Somaliland presidential election held on 13th November, 2017. Currently, you have won the election and it has been indeed a long journey for you and you have shown the tenacity and the single-mindedness it takes to be focused on your goal. I have admired your abilities to rally different sectors of Somaliland’s people behind you and I pray you for Allah to ease the responsibility for being the 5th president of Somaliland.  The citizens of this tinny country spoke to you by voting for you and your party and picked you up to be their next 5th president after Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo.

Mr. President-elect, with the election now behind you, it is time that you have to be reminded of the people’s potential hopes. There is no respite for you. We cannot afford to give you a honeymoon. Not because you don’t deserve it, but because you have urgent work to do. Your table is already full. Apart from the promises you made during the election campaign which were too many, there are pressing domestic, regional and international issues that you have to deal with. In addition you are aware that as a veteran politician your legacy starts from day one.

A political novice can be allowed to make mistakes. But any mistake from a veteran politician like you will be fatal. Therefore, you have to make it good on your first move by selecting experienced executive ministers who can quickly respond to the needs of the citizens through the services of the government institutions. We, the people of Somaliland, watched the first conferences and meetings that you have had with your party regional campaign managers, the party Diaspora supporters and the local election observers. What has made me interested to write this open letter to you is that you stated in taming the corruption and mal-administration that have paralyzed the state services for the past 7 years. The People are very much interested that you deal with domestic issues, the reform of the state institutions and strengthening Somaliland relationship with neighboring countries like Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia.

On the domestic issues, the most urgent work waiting for you is to unite the people that have been fragmented by the election campaign. Truly-speaking, most of Somaliland people have been divided into groups after months of campaigning which made brothers, sisters, siblings, families and friends to be separated due to the negative, dishonest and awful words used by politicians during the campaign.  In the meantime, some of the citizens endorsed your candidacy while others did not. But, despite their party affiliation, you are now the president for all.We expects you to reassure everyone that you are the President of all Somaliland and not of one segment of the community. This is really the time to cure those hurts and I encourage you to do this soon after you are sworn for the presidency because uniting your people will your strengths in succeeding your government plans otherwise,  you may face strong opposition from the citizens. The Peace is the foundation on which Somaliland stands and sustaining that peace needs conciliatory leadership, inclusive government and a healthy democratic debate.

Mr. president elect,  the key social issues that you are required to deal with;  are included by the reduction of the extreme poverty,  inflation, reducing the high cost of energy, creation of the economic development in order to fight the extreme youth unemployment which is the current threat to the security of Somaliland. Health care, education and fight of corruption and other related issues could be the pressing matters that you are required to first set laws particularly those curbing to corruption and bad administration. Or you can implement if those laws exist.

We, the citizens will not judge you by the gaffes you made on the campaign trail, but we will judge you by the actions you take as a president. We will judge you by the kind of government you form, the political approach you adopt and the peaceful overtures you make to your political opponents.  We will judge you by how hard you work towards delivering the promises you made during the election campaign. It is, therefore, up to you to decide whether you rise above local politics and see the bigger picture or immerse yourself deeper and deeper into the domestic issues. Remember Mr. President-elect what is built today can be easily destroyed but you have to keep leading your people towards nationhood which is based on the principles of good governance.

Reforming the state institutions is necessary in your new government and this is the main reason you have been elected as a president. Thank you for saying “ the law  should be above” while you were talking your party election campaigners but I want to share with you that the state institutions are too much and have a problem on the small revenue collected for the government services. As a veteran politician, we expect you to bring a more accommodative political environment where citizens can freely debate their opinions without fear of political repression and physical incarceration; where people can enjoy equal rights; where freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of worship are respected as basic human rights and where the rule of law takes precedence over tribal allegiance.


We urge you to reform the government institutions and form an executive council not more than 15 ministries with a lean and professional skills who can lead the reform and changes you are expected to do your term of the office. Creating state institutions where staffing is based on qualifications, integrity and competence and not on clan affiliations and nepotism could be a memorable prestige that you should left when your term expires.  Hence, What your citizens are expecting you, is to empower the supreme audit institutions including, the Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission (GGACC), the offices of the Auditor and Attorney Generals to combat corruption in the country because this is saving our people from falling into social fractured classes. We know that your predecessor did not give a political willing to all those institutions.


Having friendly and mutually valuable relations with our neighboring countries has been the basis of Somaliland’s peace and prosperity. Mr. President Elect, you are required to improve on these good ties and take them to even higher levels. Ethiopia in particular has been a strong ally of Somaliland for a long a time. This is a strategic and mutually productive alliance for both countries; it is an alliance that has to be kept and handled with great care and diligence. In addition to that, Djibouti relations have to be improved since they have opened a liaison office in Somaliland. We, the people of Somaliland are expected to protect the independence of their country by continue having productive talks with Somalia since the previous mediation talks brokered by Turkey ended in smoke.  You should come up with another new design in the talks between Somaliland and Somalia and keep the sovereignty and Somaliland nationhood in the future. Your duty, Mr. President, is to keep our borders tight and our people safe from the intolerant ideologies ravaging in the night boring countries like Somalia.


Congratulations Mr. President-elect and take the lead.

By; Muse Abdilahi Mohumed,

Hargeisa, Somaliland


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