Somalia one man, one vote election hopes brought to life

Hello it’s me again, I’m sitting at a restaurant in the west of Hargeisa enjoying my favourite avocado juice. It’s 11:34, the hottest time of the day as the sun sends its heat waves from the center of earth. It’s really hard to walk in this extreme heat. A friend of mine and former co-worker has invited me for lunch so it’s a good time for me to think about typing another interesting story in the meantime. This time around, I’m not thinking too much about what I’m going to write about.  Being a Somali often gives me too many options to write about but as a growing blogger, I sometimes find writing every issue hard because of my limited interests. This time, I will take you somewhere thousands of miles east from where I am sitting. It’s called Puntland, a semi autonomous state in north eastern parts of Somalia. Before I bombard you with something you may know a little about, let me bring up one big moment that may increase your scope of knowledge on Africa and will make my writing a bit interesting. Did you know that Aden Abdule Osman was the first democratically elected Somali president in the continent Africa? Did you know that Somalia is the birthplace of Africa’s first democrats? If you don’t know, I don’t blame you, everything Somalia had achieved in its golden era was instinctively erased my it’s last 3 decades of dark history. This time around, that lost hope is reviving itself in the small island of Putland in the mainland Somalia. Where? Puntland but a quick info about Puntland first. Puntland is officially part of the fractng Somalia but claimed autonomy by its own. Unlike Somaliland, Puntland is considered to be part of the greater Somalia but its presence is often nothing more than the map. 

On Monday October the 25th, the Puntland state of Somalia had peacefully held its first election in half a century, a long before the Somali civil war had started. The regional elections came at a time when Somalia is making promising progress in security and infrastructure. Tens of thousands of people have cast their votes in Monday’ three key district regions. Somalia hasn’t had a stable election since the time of Aden Abdulle Osman, the first democratically elected president in the history of the African continent. Over 40 thousand people have registered to vote in Monday’s historic election. Current president of Puntland state of Somalia Saeed Denni called elections “Historic” in an interview right after he cast his vote.

Election organizer helping old women cast her vote. Phot by Mohamed Salh

Somalia hasn’t had a stable government since 1990 following the civil war but there have been successes made in areas of security and infrastructure. Somalia is gearing up towards its 2020 election which was delayed last year due to Covid-19. However it seems that one person one vote isn’t likely to happen in Somalia in 2022 despite claims of one man, one vote hopes. Somalia is increasingly making progress in various areas including security which has been a hurdle to sustainable development for decades but with this obstacle easing now, everything is on the right track. Somalia has the longest coast in Africa but its tourism industry is still at an infant stage but with renewed hopes of security and infrastructure, the country is planning to turn its beaches into Maldives of Africa. I hope one day you will be able to visit a country that has not attracted many tourists not because of its beauty but its problems. It’s a bright sunny clear sky in the beautiful city of Hargeisa now and till I come back to you with another blog from the Horn of Somalia, stay safe!

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