Waddani is the largest opposition party of Somaliland who was led until recently by the chairman of the House of the Representatives of Somaliland, H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi.
The party was founded in 2012 when leading members of Justice and Welfare Party (UCID) fled their party after the Supreme Court decided against their favour on party leadership contest. The first General Assembly was convened in 2012 and Central Committee and party leadership including chairman, his deputies and secretary general were elected by the delegates as the law required.
Since then the Party, as all other parties, has not held its regular annual Central Committee conferences mandated by the law. The Presidential election scheduled on March 2017 approaches and all parties are required to declare their presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Thereby, Waddani was forced to call its first Central Committee Conference. The timetable of the Conference was pushed back in many occasions for undisclosed reasons.
At last, the Party commenced its meeting on 18th October. The party leaders initially announced that the Conference will be finalized on 19th October. But it was extended to 22nd October. The main task of the members of the Central Committee was to elect presidential contender and his deputy.
Number of strange things happened during and before the Conference. In contrary to the national Law and the Party Constitution, the members of the Central Committee were increased over threefold. The Law clearly states that the members of the Central Committee shall be elected in General Assembly.
The Party leadership imposed payment of large amount of money to any person who submits application for running for presidency or vice-presidency. The application fee for the presidency was 100, 000 USD and 50, 0000 USD for the vice-presidency. This orchestrated move to disqualify able members of the Party, made the Party founder and chairman the only presidential candidate. Two men forwarded applications for the vice-presidency and paid the required huge money.
The Central Committee Conference has more features. Former government officers, including ministers, joined Waddani this month and automatically became members of the Central Committee without General Assembly approval. Furthermore, the former powerful minister of presidency who literally ran the country under Silanyo’s behest, was crowned as the Party Leader. The takeover of former government officials undermines any claim made by Waddani to introduce better governance to the country if elected. The Conference also approved acting Chairman while the Chairman is still the chairman. To the surprise of many, now Waddani has three leaders with no clear different roles and separated powers.
The Conference proved two things. First, Somaliland’s failure to uphold rule of law. The laws are broken and sidelined, and no consequences result. The mandated Commission is obsolete. Secondly, Waddani is simply another wing of the ruling party, Kulmiye. Hence, in 2017 only Kulmiye either as proper Kulmiye under the leadership of Muse Behi or mutated Kulmiye under the name of Waddani will come to power.
By: Dr. Saed Mohamed Warsame