Somaliland: The President Behi Cabinet, Merit or Appeasement Based Appointments?


Somalilandsun – The first decree issued by Muse Behi Abdi as president of Somaliland was appointment of his council of ministers.
Composed of 23 full ministers and 9 deputies the President Muse Behi greatly contrasts that of his predecessors that is outgoing composed of 70 members among them full ministers, deputies and state ministers.
Contrary to expectations the president Behi Cabinet did not include many individuals touted as being part and parcel either for their wavering support during election campaign or as clan kingpins.
At the same time only four members were inherited from the Cabinet of ex-president Silanyo thence a relief to almost all citizens who were at throats end with the outgoing bunch over institutionalize during corruption and nepotism among many ills.
While citizens welcome the small government formed, several of its members are viewed as lacking relevant skills necessary for the onerous task placed on their shoulders.
Similarly the structure of government is raising eyebrows considering that president Behi had campaigned on a platform of enhancing economic growth thence local livelihoods.
A case in point is the demotion of fisheries from a fully fledged ministry to a department within the ministry of livestock. This is tantamount to a perceived detouring from improving the much profitability both financially sector that could be one of the country’s major employer.
Similarly the retention of water development as a stand alone ministry rather than inclusion in the minerals and energy is seen as following the footprints of Silanyo which were intent on creating posts for cronies.
But most applauded is the fair distribution of posts among the various Somaliland clans with the formerly dominant Isaac clan losing a large segments of Cabinet posts to other clans in the country.
Unquestionably it is obvious that we have a lean and equitably distributed Cabinet though perceived to include some few Un qualified members.

Though most expected either a merit or reconciliation based Cabinet, after all is said and done, one would not fail to wonder on whether president Muse Behi Abdi really accomplished either.

An original editorial of The Horn an English weekly newspaper published by Geeska Media group in Hargeisa