Kulmiye Party's Political Strategy.
by Awdalnews Feb,20th,,2009
We looked carefully at elements of various Kulmiye party principles and policies and made inference of a generalized conclusion from those specific policies. The conclusion was the emergence of a framework of overarching Kulmiye strategy based on creating in the minds of Somalilanders of an enemy from within, which is the Gadabusri people, and rallying the rest of the electorate behind the party to confront this enemy.Since losing the last presidential election by a razor thin margin, Kulmiye party leaders mistakenly lumped together president Rayale and the inhabitants of Awdal region in their quest to unseat the incumbent in the upcoming election. The efforts of going after, not only the President, but also the people of Awdal, are evident explicitly from pronouncements of party leaders and from the policy and behavior of the party. The elements of the strategy that led to the above conclusion are:
1. The Kulmiye Party platform, which is a declaration of its principles and policies include a plank or article which states that the number of parliamentary seats allocated to Awdal region must be apportioned between the Gadabursi and Issa who together inhabit the region. There are no planks in the platform that suggest that the parliamentary delegation in Hargeisa region should be divvyed up between the Garhajis & Habar Awal people, or Burao’s between the Habar Jeclo & Habar Yunis or Erigavo’s and Berbera’s between the sub-clans that inhabit those regions. The idea per se of issuing a rule on apportioning seats arbitrarily is a violation of the country’s constitution. It is an important principle of democracy that the number of seats must be based on the proportional votes cast. No party has the authority to suggest a rule that violates this important principle. There are apparently two objectives of Kulmiye behind this plank (a) to dilute the voting power of the Gadabursi people and (b) to create tension between the brotherly Issa and Gadabursi people.
2. The use of SNM as the main campaign theme for the party. In a presidential campaign the debate ought to be about the future of the country. No society needs more good ideas than the people of Somaliland who find themselves deeply impoverished and their country unrecognized by the world. Yet Kulmiye decided to run their campain issues based on the their past and not on the future. The party selected this theme for a nefarious purpose, to create a wedge between Awdal and the rest of the country by reminding the Isaaq electorate that the Gadabursis were not along side the SNM in the war against the Siad Barre forces. One thing is true: the people of Somaliland, whether they are the elders or the electorate, never considered SNM credential as the main qualification for president because twice they rejected to elect two SNM leaders as a president and instead favored two leaders who did not participate in that struggle. Hence the indisputable conclusion that the SNM theme and symbols were selected as a wedge issue.
3. Whipping passions on a fabricated electoral Jurisdictional dispute at election times. Whenever there is an election, Kulmiye’s talking points include politicizing the issue of an electoral jurisdictional dispute between the Gadabursi and the Habar Awal. This issue was raised by Kulmiye during the 2005 parliamentary elections. Party leaders talked about it and it was an issue all the over the world thru the internet. We hear again now about the subject during this presidential election. It seems they bring this up during election times when they believe time is propitious and passions are high. But what is in for the party to raise this issue at a time of a presidential election? After all votes cast for Kulmiye the result will be based on the cumulative total. It will not matter whether a vote casted for the party is from Awdal, Gabille or Hargeisa. Kulmiye never mentions any dispute between Hargeisa-Burao or Burao-Erigavo. It is always the Gadabursi-Habar Awal fabricated dispute. It is fair to conclude Kulmiye is trying to sow seeds of conflict between those brotherly and neighborly tribes.
4. Composition of the Kulmiye central committee membership. Out of 175 members Kulmiye central party members only 10 are from Awdal, which is 5.7%. This in contrast to the fact that Awdal was 20% of total voters during the last 2005 parliamentary election. This shows again that Kulmiye is not a national party.
5. Statements that incite violence. It is the habit of Kulmiye party leaders to say statements that are anti-Gadabursi and incite violence. Speaking to a graduating class in Hargeisa last summer, the Kulmiye party chairman told the young graduating students this: “we are being governed by the same people that once killed us”. There is long catalogue of such statements. Few years ago there was the infamous incident when young soccer players from Awdal were heckled, spat upon and stones hurled at them at Hargeisa Soccer Stadium. Kulmiye was responsible for what happened to these young soccer players. If Kulmiye were in power there is no question it would be more fatal with some people taking the party rhetoric as sanctioning violence against the people of Awdal.The high esteem that our people have for the other opposition leader Mr. Faisal Ali must be a lesson to Kulmiye. When Faisal visits Borama, he is greeted by throngs and ululations of women. If Kulmiye were not pursuing dangerous policies, they would have been accorded the same treatment.
Awdal has nothing against Kulmiye party leaders or their supporters as a people. We are concerned about the principles, policies and pronouncements of the party and the strategy they are following. It is perfectly legitimate for them to go after the policy of the administration. But they have no right or business to pursue policies that endanger the lives of people by inciting hatred and bloodshed with neighboring communities. Awdalities inside and overseas are firmly united to defend their rights vehemently.