By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The government has released a list of institutions banned from active participation in electioneering.
The banning announcement made through a presidential circular N0: 0264/092012 publicized by presidential spokesperson Mr. Suleiman Duhul informed members of the listed institutions to; completely abstain from partisan, overt or covert participation in local council elections related campaigning.
In his circular, the president H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo said that the constitution and national laws, which, stipulate that members of some institutions abstain from electioneering, has been activated.
The institutions whose members are banned from election campaigning includes:
• The civil service
• Armed forces
• Non-Governmental Organizations-NGO’s
• The Judiciary
• National Election Commission-NEC
• Chief Justice and Prosecutors Offices and
• The Political Parties’ Registration and Verification Committee-PPR&VC
To this effect
To this effect, ordered the president, members of the banned institutions at all levels and legally required to be impartial as pertains to political issues should not:
1. Join any political party/group or engage in local council election campaign activities covertly or overtly.
2. Utilize public property i.e. Money, Vehicles, Time etc. for any related political or electioneering activities and
3. Display elections campaign related materials like posters, stickers etc. on Official transport, Offices and Mosques as well as on buildings housing diplomatic missions and international organizations.
While informing that Somaliland is democratic country thus the constitutional rights of every citizen to participate in election of their leaders of choice, the head of state said that the banning of the above institutions members is in conformity of some constitutional and legal stipulations.
The Presidential circular attributed the banning order to various articles of the constitution and election laws, namely:
1. Articles 90, and 12 section 2 of the constitution
I. Article 14 0f the Political parties and groups law #14/2012
II. Article 12 of Local councils and presidential law #20/2011
The country’s second local council elections slated for 28 September this year with over 3,000 candidates fielded by the nine approved parties of Kulmiye, Dalsan, Haqsoor, UDUB, UCID, Wadani, UMADDA, Rays, and Nasiye vying for seats less than a quarter of contestants.
The number of final contesting political groups is now uncertain following the Confirmed withdrawal announcement of UDUB and the yet unconfirmed Nasiye one.