Every nation is entitled to a new dawn. A day where hope drives the mood of the people; a day where every individual feels they matter; a day that is vastly different from the day before for it gives birth to a nation’s much awaited yearning, and delivers a collective nationhood that many only saw in their dreams. Somalia’s new sunrise arrived on Sept 10, 2012 through much disquiet and eagerness. In many ways, our Jasmine Revolution, the one that erupted in the Arab Spring and transformed Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and gave the citizens of those countries hope for the future, came to Somalia in the form of a historic day gravid with much forestalled optimism and nostalgia.
Many Somalis began their association with this historic day of great proportions with nerve-wracking anxiety as everyone anticipated to usher a day of politics as usual where corrupt, self-serving politicians would return to assume the highest office of the land. Many were sleepless and tense. Somalis across the globe were glued to online live stream TV, others watched the election on TV while others pinned radios to their ears. Social Media saw its share of the anticipation as many expressed their feelings, emotions, and desires. Some confessed to not being able to sleep, eat or even concentrate on important daily tasks as they watched the Somali presidential election. Even for A-political Somalis, daybreak came with much optimism and apprehension. This day was historic in many fronts. First the process of election (selection) was smooth, systematic and peaceful. It began with more than 25 candidates but ended in a surprising run-off between two individuals. For many weeks, the former president of Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, was predicted to be the likely winner of the election. But at the end, a new comer that no one anticipated, a political unknown, an activist, academic and a humanist, came out of nowhere in the first round, knocking out of place many well- known politicians, Diaspora academics, and of course the previous PM of Somalia. In the second round, Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud won the election by a landslide victory-190 to 79 defeating, the predicted winner.
The election of the new president has instilled thirst, resilience, and forthrightness in many Somalis, inside and outside of the country, even though the president has lots of obstacles ahead of him. Somalia is a failed state beset by insecurity, piracy, religious fanaticism, political obscurantism, tribalism, arms infiltration, foreign interference, economic strangulation, social decline, and hosts of calamities that need to be addressed with clear vision and foresight. The president’s primary goal should be to select an experienced prime minister who will be capable of directing the administration to the right course and reliable and honest cabinet members having the experience, credibility, and strength to lead a nation that has been a laughing stock in the international community of nations. While we wish the president the best in executing his national responsibilities, we also wish to remind his administration that nothing is impossible in modern global politics. Peace is attainable, prosperity is achievable, and security can be tackled if the right course of action is employed.
We want to introduce the new president through his own words on a speech he gave on Sept. 8, 2012 to the election committee.
Here is how the president-elect beckoned the future
He began his speech with this scenario: “Imagine a Somali girl, who was born in a refugee camp, she in turn becomes a mother at that refugee camp. The only introduction to Somalia is through the images they see in the media. Now imagine once again while an aimless missile hits her home while she is making breakfast for her family one morning, and right there they become casualties; some of her children die while others are marked for life with altering injuries that make them disabled for life”.
Throughout his speech Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud reiterated the importance of human rights and the rights of all Somalis as humans, and the vitality to follow the rule of law. He also discussed in detail the imperative nature of practicing good governance that will assure a country that is stable economically, nationally and a Somalia that takes its proper place in the country of nations.
He talked about the historic positioning of Somalia since the 1960s. He stated the fact that Somalia was significant in Africa since its independence, that it became united and passed the stages of colonization with united front. He stated that our past legacy was one to be proud of. Our first president after independence came into office through a transparent election and left office when he lost the election. “Somalia was instrumental in creating the OAU as well as OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) where our president at the time was one of the main players that brought these organizations to life”.
His Platform Rested On The Following Pillars:
At the end Mr. Mohamoud envisioned a peaceful Somalia among the League of Nations that is peaceful, functioning and adheres to the international code of conduct, and the rule of law. And he foresaw the national interest of Somalia to be achieved through understanding and interaction with neighboring countries as well as the rest of the world.
He promised his government to bring back a stable modern Somalia that is known not for disorder and chaos but a Somalia that is synonymous with progress, peace, development and forward thinking.
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