By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – A number of interested citizens are jostling for appointment to the Somaliland National Election Commission-NEC after the Somaliland president released a decree asking relevant authorities to make their nominations as per the constitutionally stipulated quotas.
This development follows the term expiration of the current NEC, which is composed of seven commissioners whose appointment is made by the opposition political parties -2, president-3 and Parleimant-2 respectively.
Accordingly the president of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo who has the constitutional authority to appoint 3 commissioners has asked leaders of the two opposition political parties of UCID and Wadani to forward names of each of their nominees to the National Elections Commission.
Similarly the Guurti Upper chamber of the two tier Somaliland parliament are expected to submit names of the Elders nominees to the new NEC that shall managed the presidential and Parliamentary elections slated for mid 2015 and to be conducted in a new format utilizing Biometric technology
The two opposition party leader s Abdirahman Irro of Wadani and Eng Feisal Ali Warabe of UCID who acknowledged receipt of the presidential decree for nomination of party commissioners in NEC also praised the move terming it as the first signals of the Government’s commitment to holding the elections on time.
Opposition parties and politicians have consistently accused the government of designs to postpone the mid 2015 elections in lieu of various factors chief being the delay in registration of persons that is to preclude the establishment of a voters register.
The government has also consistently termed thus accusation as nothing more than witch-hunting from an opposition fearful of losing in elections to be held on time as well as freely and fairly under international observation.
According to the constitution a voter’s register must be in place six months prior to elections thence fears that the government cannot effect the ID cards and Voter registration by December 31st 2014 since the register must be in place on 1st January if elections shall be held in June 2015.
Though the constitution stands that to date as per duration of voter register the outgoing chairman of NEC recently informed that the commission has submitted amendments to the election law to parliament asking that the stipulation “Six months prior to elections” be changed to “Within Six Months ” .
At the same time the government has just approved and submitted to parliament a draft bill pertaining to legislation relating to the planned citizens (ID) and voter registration that was supposed to have been started in the early months of this year.