By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Somaliland National Election Commission-NEC is unable to engage in any meaningful planning.
This was stated by the secretary general of the opposition party Wadani Mohamed Abdilahi Ura’ade adding that the malady was as a result of lackluster arrangements by the administration.
According to Ura’ade NEC Commissioners are yet to establish strategies for voter registration a prerequisite for forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections
“Since the government of president Silanyo has failed to submit election dates of December 2016 to NEC as per the a tripartite political parties agreement , no strategies are in place said the Wadani SG during a press briefing in Hargeisa after his party’s meeting with election body.
This Wadani party statement is set to reignite the election dispute that has gripped the country since NEC announced its inability to conduct presidential and parliamentary slated for 26th June 2015.
On the 21st of April NEC stated that “Technically Presidential and Parliamentary Elections only Feasible in Mid 2016” offering as justification of this controversial decision to some technical and legal factors mainly namely that it
• can only be able to complete voter registration latest by December 2015 while
• The country’s registration and election laws still require some amendments by legislators
Following this announcement in which the electoral body had revealed that it shall be in a position to undertake the polls effectively a year later that is 26th June 2016, the ball went rolling to Guurti the Somaliland upper chamber of parliament as per constitutional dictates.
Subsequently the Guurti elders decided to slate the ballot for 27th April, 2017 thus effectively extending the 26th June 2015 expiring tenure of the president Silanyo for 22 months.
Opposition parties of Wadani and UCID took the decision badly resulting in some violent protest demonstrations that set the stage for intervention from Somaliland democratization process stakeholders.
The democratization partners who are incidentally major election donorsmade demands for immediate reversal of the Guurti decision which they termed as not only one that reverses democratic gains but one that might lead to internal strife.
While the push and shove continued the three national political parties of Kulmiye-Ruling and the opposition ones of UCID and Wadani met and came up with Nov 2016 as their suggested compromise date.
The parties’ suggestion was brushed aside by a fire breathing chairman of Guurti Suleiman Aden who informed that the decision of his elders was not only final and irrevocable but binding as well.
The elder Suleiman rejection of the first all parties suggestion was received with bad taste thus leading to more discontent that polarized the country leading to the government hosted talks that saw the three parties come up with the month of December 2016 as their final compromise dates.
On the 28th May after the state hosted talks chaired by Vice president Abdirahman Sayli in Hargeisa, a tripartite agreement of December 2016 as the final compromise dates was jointly announced by leaders of Kulmiye, Wadani and UCID parties Musa Behi, Abdirahman Irro and Eng Feisal Ali respectively at a joint press conference held at the presidency though with a number of conditions.
With the three political party leaders Namely Muse Behi- Kulmiye, Feisal Ali –UCID and Abdirahman Irro-Wadani as well as Vice president Abdirahman Sayli-Government each making a separate statement as per the agreement the points mentioned as mutually concurred upon were:
1. We are very respectful of the decision reached by Guurti to extend the tenure of president vice president and parliament.
2. The three national political parties of UCID, Wadani and Kulmiye hereby advise that the presidential and parliamentary elections be held in December 2016
3. The national election commission setting up the specific date to conduct the polls in December 2016 and
4. The head of state to approve the dates through a presidential decree.
Highly acclaimed by all and sundry as another measure of the homegrown peaceful resolution mechanism perfected by Somalilanders the tripartite agreement which again elicited the ire of the Guurti chair remains implemented leading to date.
With conditional this was the mutual agreement reached by the three national political parties of Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani during conflict resolution talks facilitated by the government and chaired by the Vice president Abdirahman Sayli in Hargeisa
With Wadani urging strenuous international community intervention and UCID calling for a government of national unity the presidential and parliamentary election and presidential term extension dispute is set more tussles.
But as per the opposition parties the only remaining solution to the conflict is the implementation of the a tripartite agreement slating any day of NEC choosing in December 2016 as the timeline for polls in Somaliland