As they concur on one year extension while others caution Elders of the Guurti against machinations that might create disharmony.
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Despite earlier vows not to accept the delay of Presidential and Parliamentary elections beyond the slated date of mid 2015, politicians in Somaliland are unanimous in concurring with the one year delay announced by the National Election Commission-NEC
Planned for June 2015 the National Election Commission recently announced that due to technical and legal issues presidential and parliamentary elections are not tenable in Somaliland as slated thence only possible on the 26th June 2016.
The main points raised by NEC in justification of the new Rota include voter registration which starts in July and pending amendments to the registration and election laws.
A citizenry that anticipated such from NEC is sighing in relief following the unanimous acceptance of the postponement emanating from politicians specially those in the opposition who had on several occasions in the past threatened to form a government of national unity if the polls do not take place on time.
According to the unregistered National Consultation and Rectification Forum (NCRF) that brings together numerous prominent opposition politicians in the country, the date announced by NEC is appropriate and acceptable.
While warning elders from parliament’s upper chamber of Guurti against more extension of the president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo (expiring in June 2015) for more than the year requested by NEC, the NCRF also called for an all encompassing consultative meeting to discuss various national issues with participation of the government, political parties, traditional and religious leaders as well as Civil Society organizations.
Though the call by NCRF for a national consultation meeting is not a new one most surprising has been the body’s graceful acceptance of the rescheduled lections thus extension of president Silanyo’s term which they, NCRF, had vowed to negate through the forceful formation of a national unity government.
Displaying nervousness on why Somaliland elections were to be held in the same year with those in Somalia Eng Mohamed Hashi Elmi, former finance minister in the current administration and now major critic said the issue of 2016 Hargeisa –Mogadishu elections requires more exploration.With a lot of stakes in the elections the three national political parties of ruling Kulmiye and opposition one’s of UCID and Wadani also embraced the new election dates without any qualms.KULMIYE
According to the deputy chairperson of the ruling Kulmiye party Mohamed Kahin Ahmed “The three national political parties having agreed on giving NEC the authority to decide elections dates do hereby welcome and prepare for polls on 26th June 2016”
The Wadani party deputy chair Ahmed Mumin Seet said his party being conscious and in respect to national cohesion accepts the new dates which they had anticipated following several discussions with NEC. Said he “while in anticipation of a schedule for elections the new dates announced by NEC are ok with Wadani, though we warn against further extension beyond the June 2016 date”
While informing that the elections were doomed to delays as far back as two years ago, the UCID deputy chair Abdirashid Hasan Mataan said “first I wish to inform citizens that though the elections were postponed 2 years ago and not today for the government of the day has been in machinations towards tenure extension, our party UCID despite this accepts the new dates”
Meanwhile the Presidency has yet to react in any way to the new dates though the head of state is expected as pr the constitution to submit a request of extension to Guurti.
Though a few politicians, mostly parliamentarians and more so in the opposition have decried the new election dates their main issue is with the Guurti which they have warned against further addition beyond the June 2016 date while cautioning the government whose constitutional mandate expires in two months time, against entering into any contracts with foreign firms until after elections.