By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somaliland sun) – Until the national Election Commission-NEC declares campaign for Somaliland presidential and parliamentary elections open the three national political should hold their horses or face legal action.
This warning was issued by the Political Parties Registration and Verification Committee-PPR&VC during a press briefing at its headquarters in Hargeisa where leaders of the Ruling Kulmiye and opposition parties of UCID and Wadani were accused of conducting covert campaigns in some parts of the country.
Terming the ongoing electioneering by the three parties as illegal the PPR&VC spokesperson Abdirahman Adan Mohamed urged the politicians to desist from illegal activities that might lead to not only legal action but impinge on the timely holding of elections slated for late March 2017
“We are aware that the three national political parties are campaigning covertly in the regions of Sahil, Togdheer and Awdal” said the spokesperson adding that these areas targeted are where NEC has completed registering voters
Stating that the illegal campaigns might impinge negatively on timely elections the PPR&VC mouthpiece urged the political parties to observe necessary laws of the country for legal action might result from current activities that, unless deterred will interfere with the proper exercise of Voter registration in the remaining regions of Sanaag, Sool and Maroodi-jeeh which includes the capital Hargeisa.
The committee mandated with ensuring political parties conduct affairs in the proper and legal manner as per law also accused the politicians camouflaged electioneering as an inept attempt to circumvent not only the Somaliland constitutionally stipulated election laws but numerous inter-party agreements the supervisory body has facilitated.
“You deem your aspirations for national leadership by breaking laws that you intent to uphold if elected to office” said the PPR&VC spokesperson as he concluded by reiterating warning that legal action shall be taken in lieu of immediate cessation of ongoing covert and illegal electioneering.
According to the PPR&VC a good example of the ongoing illegal electioneering is the prevalence of posters and billboards with pictures of prospective candidates for parliament with sponsoring party colours adorning all the major cities of the country.
In the meantime NEC shall start voter registration which was suspended for one month for purposes of participating in relief efforts that are geared towards alleviating impact of severe drought in the country.
Accordingly the election commission shall start registering voters in Maroodi-jeeh region including Hargeisa and Salahley, from 30th April to 27th May 2016 while dates for similar activities in remaining regions of Sool and Sanaag shall be announced.
NEC which revealed voter resumption on the 20th of April also urged all stakeholders in relevant regions to observe proper conduct thence a peaceful and successful conclusion to the voter registration which is a major prerequisite for the Somaliland presidential and parliamentary elections slated for 28th March 2017.
Though the imperatives of political parties and their leaders behaving accordingly and within the law is unquestionable thus a MUST what is overtly questionable is whether the Political Parties Registration and Verification Committee has the constitutional muscle to implement the threat.