Somaliland: IC Concerned by Holding of Timely Elections, Summons Political Bosses to Nairobi

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Somaliland political leaders Summned to Nairobi for Grilling L-R Muse Behi of Kulmiye Feisal Ali-UCID and Abdirahman Irro of Wadani parties

By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – A Chartered gulfstream jet is expected to transport the bosses of Somaliland’s three political bosses to Nairobi on the 19th Oct 2014.

According to our sources in Nairobi the leaders of the Ruling Kulmiye party and opposition parties of Wadani and UCID, Muse Behi, Abdirahman Irro and Eng Feisal Ali Warabe are to meet with a committee of election donors in Nairobi.
“The urgent summons to Nairobi Kenya emanate from fears raised by the donors over the timely holding of Somaliland parliamentary and presidential elections slated for mid 2015” said our source within the Donor community in Nairobi
According to reports all necessary election and voter registration support funds promised by the international community-IC are ready for disbursement but the donors are worried by the on ground preparations thence the urgent summons to Nairobi.

The expedited journey by the three political leaders which follows summons by the Somaliland democratization steering committee-SDSC is thence geared towards assuaging these fears of postponed elections held by the IC.
The SDSC which is made up by major democratization donors comprises Norway, UK, US, EU and the UN among others and has been a partner in the country’s democratization process over the years through funding numerous elections and voter registrations undertaken in Somaliland.
Though the government of president Silanyo has time and again assured of commitment to hold the mid 2015 elections on schedule, the opposition parties and politicians say realities on the ground point to postponement.
Stating the yet to be started voter registration as the gimmick the state plans to use in extending its term in office the opposition politicians have pledged to force the formation of a unity government which shall have the sole mandate of holding free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections.

Wadani's Irro and Jamal of UCID to challenge  Silanyo for the Somaliland presidency  in 2015
According to the Somaliland constitution and election laws a voter register must be in place six months before the day polls are planned for.
Recently the chairman of the outgoing Somaliland national Election commission-NEC whose term has expired Commissioner Geelle said that the draft Elections and registration bill submitted to parliament proposes amendments to the “Six months before polls” clause to one reading “Within Six months of polls date”
According to journalist Latifa Yusuf Masai of Somalilandsun, the contentious Elections cum citizens and voters registration law is exactly the bone that the SDSC wants to crunch with the political bosses in Nairobi.
The bill which pertains to the registration of citizens for the country’s first ever Identity Card and voters register as a prelude to ushering the 2015 elections was submitted by the government to parliament last month and the House of representatives where it has already been approved after various amendments and submitted to Guurti for subsequent approval or rejection.
The Somaliland legislature is a two tier one with the House of representatives Elected) being the lower chamber and Guurti, the house of elders (Selected) being the upper chambers thence all laws are approved first in the lower then the upper chambers before beg dispatched to the president for enactment.
Guurti chair Suleiman AdenThe main bone of contention which our miss Latifa says is behind the expedited summons to Nairobi is most likely the refusal by Guurti to not only approve but debate the bill after it was submitted by the lower chamber.
Earlier in the week the Guurti refused to debate the registration law and immediately went on a prolonged and urgent recess thence putting the timely holding of the forthcoming elections in doubt.
According to the chairman of Guurti Suleiman Mahmud Aden the Elders house found the submitted bill different from the one approved by the lower chambers thus accusing speaker Abdirahman Irro of duplicity since he is an interested party to the elections.
While all Somalilanders are interested parties to everything in the country Abdirahman Irro doubles as the Speaker of parliament (House of representatives) and Chairman of opposition party Wadani as well as its presidential aspirant in 2015 if elections are actually held.
As for Suleiman Aden it is not difficult to fathom the unprecedented actions of his Guurti in putting the polls in limbo since the formerly selected elders are to undergo the election process in the forthcoming elections as per the stipulations of the bill they have discarded as doctored.
Well for the time being it is a wait and see game though the Guurti recess thence unapproved registration bill that leads to a nonexistent voter register six months to election date makes the polls exercise slated for mid 2015 not only dubious but untenable as well.
With this standing the government is hard pressed towards proving to both Somalilanders and the SDMC of its pledge of “On Time elections” while the opposition can say “Our fears have been proven” and bask in glory but it might be short lived for the President Silanyo Administration has been known to overcome many insurmountable difficulties time and again.

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