Bulldozer man defies clan identity to become MP in Somaliland

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He launched and ran in his campaign atop a bulldozer pledging improvement of social services and dissociated himself from clan politics and in no time, Somalilanders and even Somalis in the south joined his bandwagon.

From Facebook to Twitter to Tik Tok and other social media platforms, Barkaad Jamah Batuun won the hearts and minds of young people who composed songs, designed banners and tweeted in his support.

By election day, Batuun, who by the clan orientation among Somalis came from ‘minority clan’ became the most popular candidate securing 20,231 votes to beat other candidates vying for the parliamentary seat in Gabooye constituency in Maroodijeeh region.

According to provisional results from the Somaliland National Elections Commission (SLNEC), no other parliamentary candidate garnered such an amount of votes.

“What you plant today will be harvested tomorrow by you, vote for Batuun,” the slogan on his campaign posters read.

Batuun ran on the opposition Waddani ticket and went ahead to defy clan lines that have defined Somali politics for the longest.

None of his clan members has ever been elected to parliament in Somaliland owing to their ‘minority’ standing.

But Batuun won the hearts of many particularly the youth who took to social media to voice support for him and importantly, they urged against looking at their candidate as from a particular clan.

“Let’s send Barkad Batuun to the SL house of people. He has all it takes to bring the voice of justice and reason to the floor. He’ll proudly represent the voiceless and fight for equal rights for all,” a Tweeter, Mohamed Omer tweeted.

Artist Najuum Arts voiced her support for Batuun. “I am voting for Barkaad Batuun. Let’s vote for change, we are with you.”    

In his acceptance speech, Batuun thanked the people of Gabooye constituency and Somaliland at large terming his election destruction of the walls of ‘oppression’.

Read More: A voting mother gives birth in Hargeisa, Names son Barkhad

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