Participants shall be the three political parties of Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani and their respective presidential candidates
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- “Though our country is yet to be internationally recognized as a sovereignty nation, its regional supremacy as home to democracy in the Horn of Africa is indisputable.
This was stated by the Chairman of the Academy for Peace and Development-APD Mohamed Farah Hirsi during a press briefing at his offices in Hargeisa, where he revealed plans to host the first ever presidential debate in Somaliland.
“First is to commend the government, National Election Commission-NEC and the three political parties of Ruling Kulmiye and Opposition’s Wadani and UCID for facilitating a successfully voter cards distribution in the country” adding that most accolades was to the over 800,000 registered voters who prevailed all to access their cards.
The third Somaliland presidential elections pitting Muse Behi Abdi of Kulmiye, Eng Feisal Ali Warabe- UCID and Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi ‘Irro’ of Wadani shall be held on the 13th November 2017.
Stressing on the imperatives that democratic elections hold for the country more so its multi-sectored development, the APD chief said it was imperative that citizens are better informed thence cast ballot “not on clan but agenda basis”
Accordingly the APD shall host a presidential debate in which the three political parties and respective candidates shall publicly inform on their manifesto.
Revealing that the planned presidential debate in which Muse Behi, Eng Feisal Ali and Abdirahman Irro shall share a public platform answer questions from experts and ordinary citizens Mr Mohamed said the host pledges impartiality.
Said he, “Since APD is not affiliated to any of the three parties, intent of the debate is not promotion of either candidate but facilitate a forum for the parties and candidates to tell the public how they shall manage national affairs if elected”
On the mechanism in place to see to the hosting of a public presidential debate devoid of any partisanship, Mohamed Farah said that strategies include
I. Establishing a preparatory committee, composed of political parties representatives and APD members.
II. Create a panel of nationals with expertise in various fields, approved by the political parties. And
III. Host the debate in a public place and televised live nationwide and abroad as well with possibility of far off viewers chipping in.
The preparatory committee shall have the task of arranging the when, where of the first Somaliland presidential debate as well as agree on questions to be posed
As for the panel of experts the APD chairman Mohamed Farah revealed that intent is not only to have party approved panelists but ones with complete grasp and expertise of diverse sectors pertinent to Somaliland like security, economy, education, foreign affairs and Agriculture to mention just a few.
Though date for the first ever presidential debate was not revealed, the APD said that the time and place shall be made public once the preparatory committee, now in the works, completes its arrangements
Thanking the European Union for facilitating funding of only the presidential debate but other numerous APD programs chairman Mohamed Farah Hirsi informed that pertinent Democratization activities undertaken by the Academy include the facilitation of
I. Political parties code of conduct
II. Media code of conduct
III. Inter-party debate and dialogue and
IV. National stakeholders forum
The above programs that have and geared towards institutionalization of the Somaliland democratic process are funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by Satan Africa and the Academy for Peace and Development.
About the APD
The Academy for Peace and Development (APD) was established in 1998 as a research institute in collaboration with Interpeace. Since its inception, APD core activities have mainly focused in peace-building using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology. The organization has brought together representatives from different sectors of society to identify priorities in the process of rebuilding Somaliland. The Academy has been instrumental in facilitating dialogue on issues such as peacebuilding, state building human rights, democracy and good governance.
To brings its vision of “Sustaining peace, state building and promoting development” to fruition the APD is driven by the following object fed
1. To provide a neutral forum for dialogue and to create the opportunities to discuss and address development and reconstruction issues of common concern to Somaliland society.
2. To facilitate the process to collectively identify, set priorities and formulate policy options for the challenges of development and rehabilitation of the country.
3. To assist key stakeholders including—Somaliland government, international community, donor agencies and local actors—to better respond to the challenges of re-building the nation by providing them with relevant information on critical issues, seeking consensus on their interventions and facilitating their responses and effects.
4. To stimulate action-driven change and achieve actionable change.
For more about APD visit http://apd-somaliland.org