Somaliland: NEC Bans the Use of Public Gardens for Campaigns

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Commissioner HamariBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Political parties shall not be allowed to use public gardens for campaigns.

The National election commission-NEC has banned the use of public gardens in all major cities for local council election campaigns as from Monday 5/11/2012 when the second round kicks-off.

In a statement signed by the NEC chairman Commissioner Isse Yusuf Hamari the banning comes due to the disruption in public life occasioned by ongoing election campaigns whose first round started last Monday.

The Election boss said that during the second and fourth phases of the elections campaigns political parties have been banned from assembling and addressing their respective supporters in the public gardens of the seven major cities of the country Namely: Erigavo, Burao, Berbera, Las anod, Borame, Gabile and Hargeisa.

Said he, “This order is as a result of never ending traffic jams, disruption of business etc as well as complaints from citizens” said Hamari

While the NEC statement compliment the political groups and their supporters for the peaceful conduct of campaigns during the first round that took a full week, it also warned against contravening this ban order.

Commissioner Hamari further informed that the parties shall only be allowed the use of public gardens during the fourth and last phase of campaigns that kicks-off on 19th – 25th November.

Said he, “Though the gardens shall be opened for campaigns during the fourth phase the use of large convoys of vehicles stands”

While this order creates some administrative and logistic problems for the seven contesting political parties it comes at an appropriate time for citizens who have been under immense stress during the one week of campaigns.

The local council elections that shall be held on 28th November have attracted seven contesting political parties who are vying for the three open positions of national official national political party.

The NEC has allocated each of the seven parties a day of campaigns nationwide where the respective parties have a monopoly for 24 hours thus maintain peace through deterring supporters of the various parties entering into arguments.

The seven parties and their allocated days are:

• UMADDA- Monday

• UCID- Tuesday

• Kulmiye- Wednesday

• Dalsan- Thursday

• RAYS- Friday

• Wadani-Saturday

• Haqsoor- Sunday

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