Somaliland: The Fate of 2019 Planned Parliamentary and Council Elections in Limbo

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Somaliland: The Fate of 2019 Planned Parliamentary and Council Elections in Limbo

Somalilandsun- Somaliland’s parliamentary and council elections which are supposed to be held in March of 2019 seem to in the limbo and as things look now may be postponed. The elections time is 7 months away but many important undertaking are pending before even the announcement of the election date. Even though the Somaliland Electoral Commission (SLNEC) and the national political parties have not made announcement about the postponement however the reading is on the wall since there are many obstacles that may hinder the elections to be held on time.

First and foremost the regional and district quotas of seats in parliament is a thorn in the flesh issue to the electoral body since a clear understanding has not been reached. The people from the provinces are vehemently opposing the former quotas as unfair and want new quotas for seat for very region in the country representing the wishes of the minority groups and women. Another obstacle is the conflict between the opposition National Party (Wadani) and the electoral commission. In March this year the National Party (Wadani) claimed that it does not have confidence in the electoral commission calling for its disbandment and appointment of a new commission. However the president H.E Musa Bihi Abdi has ignored the opposition call for sacking the commissioners.

The international community which pays the largest chunk of the election monies is very concerned should the election not be held as scheduled.

The countries that support Somaliland democratization process may call for the parties involved in the elections saga to solve their differences timely so that the elections could be held as slated.

The current crops of members of Somaliland parliament are in their 13th year in the house instead of the lawfully 5 years while the councilors have over stayed their tenure by 1 year. The council elections were supposed to be held in 2017.

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