Somaliland Democracy for Sale: The Jamal and Warabe Way By Sulub Adan
Few months ago, Jamal Ali Hussein, a banker turned politician, came back to Somaliland to start a presidential bid. Instead of creating his own political party and testing his political appeal with the Somaliland electorate, Jamal opted out to make a shady backroom deal with his uncle, the ex-deputy leader of UDUB, Ahmed Yusuf Yasin.
Under the terms of his agreement with UDUB, Jamal agreed to pay out UDUB’s presidential nomination with $300,000. His uncle crowned him as the official UDUB presidential candidate without consulting the UDUB Chairman, President Rayale, who was alive and well in France at the time. The rank and file of UDUB supporters, including a sizable number of the party central committee members, vehemently opposed the manoeuvring.
To the embarrassment of Jamal and his uncle, the case was finally settled in a Supreme Court decision. The court rendered a decision that nullified Jamal’s bid for the presidency as UDUB’S candidate on the grounds of breaking UDUB’s constitution and party bylaws. The verdict came down to this: his uncle, the ex-deputy of UDUB, intentionally bypassed the UDUB constitution to sell the 2015 Somaliland presidential nomination to his nephew.
Jamal never learned from this Supreme Court decision. Before the dust settled, he went shopping around for a presidential nomination on sale. He went to UCID with the same bidding against the advice of his clan Sultans. He was wisely advised not to damage his reputation, and not to drag the clan’s name into the mud with him, by shopping around for a presidency nomination with a bag of cash.
But, you know, for Jamal the end justifies the means no matter how many ethical rules or party bylaws he breaks on the way. He neither listened to the advice of his clan elders nor got bothered with the ethical considerations of his actions. He went to UCID anyway with the same bidding: hefty cash for presidential candidacy.
UCID current chairman, Faisal Ali Warabe, could not refuse Jamal’s offer and allegedly accepted a down payment. And now, Jamal bought himself a shot at the 2015 Somaliland presidency. That is if UCID qualifies as a national party again, in which case he has to cough up the rest of the cash.
Mr. Warabe sold UCID to Jamal without consulting UCID’s central committee, the regulatory body that can legally nominate the party presidential candidate for approval by the assembly of the party delegates from all the Somaliland regions. Again Jamal bought his way out by bypassing the central committee of UCID, the only body that can legally bestow him the party’s presidential nomination with the approval of a national convention of UCID.
As a central committee member of UCID, I raised this matter with Mr. Warabe several times and explained to him how this deal is in complete violation with UCID constitution. What I got from him each time was an evasive answer and a defensive threat to my party membership. And he still refuses to make the official document of the deal with Jamal available to the central committee of UCID.
Mr. Jamal’s ventures set a bad precedent for Somaliland politics. It tars the image of Somaliland democracy. Think about it, if any chairman can sell his party presidential nomination to the highest bidder without due process, what would become of Somaliland democracy?
I call on all Somalilanders to make a petition to the National Election Commission to check on the legality of Mr. Warabe’s decision to sell the party presidential candidate to the highest bidder, Mr. Jamal. I call on all card-carrying members of UCID, currently living in Somaliland, to file a class action lawsuit to get to the bottom of this shady Warabe/Jamal deal at the expense of Somaliland presidency.
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