History made in Somaliland as minority candidate, son of former singer scoop more votes

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HARGEISA - The recently concluded Somaliland elections ended in style as a minority candidate and a son of a former singer recorded the highest number of votes in parliamentary and local council elections respectively.

Somaliland conducted first-ever direct elections with at least one million people getting a chance to vote for their candidates, in what observers described as a "credible and transparent" election. The electoral commission has announced most results.

For instance, the Waddani party floored the Kulmiye party in parliamentary elections having scooped 31 seats of the 82 as the ruling Kulmiye party got 30. Despite the close contest, the two might need coalitions with the UCID party which managed 21 seats.

But it's the victory of Barkhad Batuun, an activist who fights for inclusivity which thrilled many people given that he comes from the minority clan in Somaliland. Batuun from the Waddani party will be the first candidate from the minority Gaboye community to become a member of Somaliland Parliament and managed 20,000 votes, the highest in parliamentary history.

"It's a joy and fantasy for the people of Somaliland. It's a great victory for the whole nation of Somaliland. Praise be to God," Barkhad Batuun said after being confirmed as a winner. "They talk about the American dream, I say this is Somaliland's dream. If you dream high, work hard and your dreams of success and prosperity will pay off," added Ayaan Sulekha Yussuf.

"The grassroots level campaign and widespread support for Barkhad Batuun, minority rights activist and friend of mine, resulted in unprecedented success. “The man in the yellow bulldozer” is an MP with a landslide victory," added Gulaid Ahmed Jamah.

His victory sets the pace for politics of inclusivity in Somaliland, a region where one's clan matters who gets a post in the society. The region broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has since been running a parallel government in Hargeisa, the regional administrative capital.

Another surprise victory was that of activist Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge got the highest votes in the history of Somaliland’s local elections. Mooge ran an anti-tribalism campaign and his victory marks a new direction.

"Abdikarim Moge, the son of late prominent singer, Ahmed Moge, has won Hargeisa City Council seat with the highest votes in the history of Hargeisa’s local government elections. His friends say Moge ran an anti-tribalism campaign which attracted the youth," Somali National TV wrote.

And now, Abdikarin Ahmed Mooge, has announced his candidacy for mayor of Hargeisa. It is noteworthy that he was the most popular candidate receiving 26,299 votes in Hargeisa local council elections and his anti-tribalism agenda is slowly gaining momentum.

Somaliland is currently fighting for international recognition and the recently concluded elections that were delayed for 16 years. Muse Bihi Abdi, the region's president is facing fierce competition from Waddani's Abdirahman Irro.

GAROWE ONLINE

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