Friday, March 14, 2003

Somaliland Presidential Election Chronicles: Back to the future?
Part IV
Presidential elections are scheduled in Somaliland for April 14, next month. This series of articles will provide an in-depth analysis of the election. Two diaspora-based Somalilanders, a political scientist (Dhimbiil) and Psychiatrist (Jowhar), will provide the analysis on alternate weeks.
By A. Mohamed Ali Hashi “Dhimbil”
ADDIS ABABA, 14 MARCH 2003-- “Constitutions do not create democracy, democracy creates constitutions.” Benjamin Barber – in Jihad vs. MacWorld. Somaliland’s transition towards multi-party politics and constitutional government is precious yet precarious. Indeed, Somaliland is at the most important time in its political history. The elections are tied to the future of the country itself.

Will this transition to democracy succeed given the innumerable obstacles to achieving a democratic dispensation in Somaliland? Or, put another way, will the transition be hijacked and defined more exclusively in traditional norms or/and in exclusively in modern terms? And lastly, what responsibility does the international community have given their calls for democracy and the rule of law, given the continuing experiment in Somaliland?

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