Opposition parties joint letter
To: Democratic Program Steering Committee
Somalilandsun – The two opposition parties, UCID and WADDANI thank the donor community represented by the DPSC most profoundly for the continuous support and assistance extended to Somaliland for the holding of the past elections in order to strengthen and institutionalize the Somaliland democratization process and by extension its peace and stability.
We also appreciate your understanding to bear with us through the bumpy road to realize these aspirations; for us it is for a partnership that is working albeit, the challenges that come on the way.
So far, the mechanisms Somaliland had in place to ensure a stable culture of free and fair elections are fragile or even failing. The crisis experienced in the aftermath of last local council election should serve us as a critical warning for subsequent elections. The two opposition parties, WADDANI and UCID are heeding these warning signs and hence have cooperated with all local stakeholders to work together to chart the path towards a better election culture and healthy outcome. The two parties are also taking this opportunity to further clarify their positions regarding the discussion on voter registration and the urgency to prepare for upcoming elections.
1. The two parties fully adhere to the agreement reached between key stakeholders and the content of the letter signed together by all parties dated 11.7. 2013 and as communicated to the donor community.
2. The UCID and WADDANI parties single out the need to hold a quality Voter Registration to ensure a free and fair election process and outcome in the coming Presidential and Parliamentary election in mid 2015 and for sustainable system to build on in the future; the voter registration results need to be ready before “31st Dec 2014”. The basic principal upheld by the two parties for the registration is to ensure the constitutional right of the citizens for one-citizen one-vote. That has been at best strenuous to realize in our voter experience. There has been immunity for voter fraud and the two parties are committed to do everything in their power to root out the fraudulent practices. Their strategy is to ensure the Voter Registration process and results are free from fraud, whatever system and technology used to realize that.
3. The two parties consider the National Electoral Commission as the neutral institution mandated to manage the national election processes including the voter registration and that it is accountable and accessible to the national political parties. All other stakeholders including the Ministry of Interior and the civil society have supporting roles.
4. The Two opposition parties WADDANI and UCID warn against the delay of the elections of 2015 and the dire consequences of subsequent extensions of the terms of the Presidency and also the Parliament. Somaliland citizens dread repetition of the acrimony and upheavals of 2008 through early 2010 and also the aftermath of last Local Council Election and therefore, expect their Government to take the responsibility to ensure elections take place on time, be free of fraud and gerrymandering. The donor community has a critical role to play in the stabilization of election schedules and the rejection of fraud in the voter registration and also elections.
5. The Opposition parties UCID and WADDANI recognize the squeeze in international funding and therefore urge the Somaliland Government to take also its responsibility to mobilize resources from public coffers and from the citizens to ensure the election process is not compromised because of funds. In this context the donors community is requested to recognize the urgency of the matter especially that time is running out for the approaching elections and therefore to clarity if there are changes to the formula of cost sharing in the both the voter registration and in the election and to clarify what is expected to be on the table from their side and when.
6. WADDANI and UCID parties welcome national and donor consultations and structured discussions mechanisms to work out common strategies and processes to facilitate the holding of voter registration and elections based on the free and fair principles and sustainable outcomes.
7. The two parties will cooperate with the government, the donors and all other stakeholders to organize quality voter registration and free and fair election and above all stamping out fraud from Somaliland election processes.
Accept, please, the assurances of our highest considerations
Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi (Cirro) & Eng, Faysal Ali Hussein (Warrabe)
WADDANI POLITICAL PARTY UCID POLITICAL PARTY
Cc: National Electoral Commission
CC: Kulmiye Party
CC: The President of Somaliland