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Cablegate: Somalia - Somaliland's President Riyale Seems To

VZCZCXRO6833
RR RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2151 2821359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091359Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1282
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002151

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PHUM PINR SOCI SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - SOMALILAND'S PRESIDENT RIYALE SEEMS TO
STALL ON ELECTION COUNCIL NOMINEES

REF: NAIROBI 2010

1. (SBU) Summary: In October 9 conversations, opposition
Kulmiye party Chairman Ahmed Silanyo and UCID opposition
party Chairman Ali Faisal Warabe told Somalia Unit that they
and the Council of Elders (Guurti) had nominated their
combined four candidates to the National Election Council
(NEC), but that President Riyale had still not announced his
three nominees. Warabe and Silanyo suspected that Riyale
might be attempting to brake progress toward the
often-postponed presidential elections. Silanyo admitted,
however, that lobbying and strategizing by those in Riyale's
inner circle or among clan elders might be the source of the
delay. The opposition party Chairmen urged international
community pressure and reported that they had alerted the
British Charge in Addis Ababa to Riyale's foot-dragging.
Ambassador Ranneberger will make our concerns about the
slower-then-expected pace of the process known to President
Riyale in a telephone call planned for the weekend of October
9. End summary.

2. (SBU) In an October 9 conversation, Somaliland's UCID
opposition party Chairman Ali Faisal Warabe told Somalia Unit
that the Guurti, his party, and the opposition Kulmiye party
had all nominated their replacement candidates to the
National Election Council (NEC). (Note: Following the
signing by the three party Chairmen of a six-point framework
agreement, the incumbent NEC members had resigned. President
Riyale's UDUB party was to nominate three replacement NEC
members, the Guurti was to have nominated two, and the two
opposition parties were to suggest one nominee each. End
note.) Warabe, while admitting that Riyale was a "very slow
guy," worried that Riyale's failure to date to nominate could
be part of a larger strategy to delay progress on the
election process at every step, thus allowing Riyale to
remain President as long as possible. Warabe said he had
alerted the British Charge John Marshall in Addis Ababa of
the delay and encouraged his intervention. Warabe hoped that
a timetable leading to the elections could be agreed not
later than October 29. He said that Kulmiye Chairman Silanyo
and he would press, at a three-party meeting that could occur
on October 10, for a strict timetable.

3. (SBU) In a conversation the same day, opposition Kulmiye
party Chairman Ahmed Silanyo reiterated his belief that the
key to successful elections was a newly-constituted NEC.
Silanyo thought it possible that Riyale had delayed
announcement of his three candidates because he was being
intensely lobbied, both by his inner circle, and by relevant
clan elders. Silanyo said he had urged Riyale on October 8
to move ahead quickly, before Somalilanders become restive.
He had told the same to the press, Silanyo said. Silanyo had
set his own deadline for Riyale of October 10. He urged
international pressure in order to get the President to act.

4. (SBU) Embassy has tentatively scheduled a telephone call
for Ambassador Ranneberger with Riyale for the weekend of
October 9 in order to underscore the importance of moving
quickly to elections.
HOZA

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