By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – A 25 member committee of Guurti elders is to decide when presidential and parliamentary elections in Somaliland shall be held.
At a session of the Somaliland upper chamber of parliament chaired by house leader Suleiman Mahmud Aden, the elders concurred on the imperatives of expedited decision on approval or rejection of new 1st June 2016 election dates proposed by the National Election Commission-NEC.
A short while back NEC announced that for technical and legal related issues it cannot conduct the presidential and parliamentary slated for June 2015 thus proposing 1st June 2016 as the most viable date.
The NEC proposal to delay elections which in turn entails extension of the current five year tenure of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo that expires on 26th June 2015 resulted in the head of state submitting a governing term additional room request to the Guurti.
In the Somaliland two tier parliament the constitution mandates elders of the Guurti with the responsibility of setting polls dates upon recommendation of the electoral management body.
The 25 Elders named to the Guurti Election date setting committee are led by Elder Suleiman Mahmud Aden – Guurti Chairman, Elder Saeed Jama Ali – 1st Deputy Guurti chair and Elder Abdirahman Sheikh Yusuf – 2nd Deputy Guurti chair with Elder Hajji Abdi Hussein Yusuf ‘Abdi Warabe’ as main consultant.
This committee faces an indomitable task owing to the vehement opposition to an extension beyond the NEC proposed dates emanating from local opposition political parties and figures as well as international community with a stake in the country’s democratization process.