By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The National Election Commission has received 25% of local council elections funds.
According to the NEC spokesperson Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Hirsi Gelle, the funds were received from the government being its share of expenditure funds towards local council elections that are yet to be held due to unavailability of budget.
The spokesperson revealed the new developments during a press conference at the NEC offices in Hargeisa where he informed that the remaining balance of 75% is expected soon from international donors that have supported the country’s democratization process since 2002.
“We highly anticipate deposit of the balance from our international partners as per agreements” said Mr. Gelle
Following the availability of the 25% funds from the government NEC further revealed that election commissioners will soon be dispatched thus open regional offices that will be further utilized to open district and village NEC offices.
As per the date of the much awaited local council elections the NEC spokesperson said, “Once we receive all budgeted funds elections date will immediately be announce since NEC has so far finalized all arrangements.
The amount received from the government emanate from the national budget of 2012 that was approved by the two houses of parliament earlier this year. It therefore means that the amount not yet availed is the one promised by a number of international donors who have over the years contributed towards the country’s democratization process mainly Britain, Norway and the EU.
Earlier fears expressed by the election body as per amendments to election laws seem to have been dispelled recently by parliament after relevant approval.
The changes made to the elections laws will see candidates win seats on first to the post rule as opposed to earlier formats that saw candidates elected on a party list are now legal, others changes are related to the use of candidates’ names only without any symbols.
Earlier changes made to elections laws and already law thus in use, include allowing Members of Parliament and Councilors to switch parties and still hold their seats as well as the scrapping of the voters registers thus forthcoming local council elections will be held devoid of a voters register.