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Somaliland:To Get Free and Fair Election, Complaints of Elections must be Considered and Resolved-CPA Report

A woman places her vote in the box during the Somaliland elections 2010 (photo © Claudia Simoes/Progressio)

The newsletter from the Election Monitoring Office provides a brief Information about Somaliland election related incidents. CPA was established to help the countries of Horn of Africa region to build, peace, democracy, human rights and effective governance systems where all citizens are equal. CPA is based in Hargeisa, the Capital of Republic of Somaliland.

Contact Information:

centerforpolicy.ed@gmail.com

http://www.centerforpolicy.net/

INTRODUCTION

This is the third report on the election incidents for the last two months monitored and compiled by CPA Election Monitoring Office, with the aim to update the Government, Civil Society, and National and International Organizations on the election issues needs to be considered.

Following are the necessary issues and recommendations from CPA Election Monitoring Office.

 

CONCERNED INCIDENTS

September 6, a meeting between civil society organizations and the National Electoral Commission was discussed on various issues about the elections. NEC has expressed a concern that the security forces did not comply with the requirements of the National Electoral Commission during the voter card distribution also the government did not enforced sometimes the Commission’s Orders about certain issues. NEC also expressed their concern about the illegitimate campaigns of Waddani and Kulmiye Parties during the Voter Card Distribution.

Meanwhile, Kaltuun Hassan, a member of the Electoral Commission addressed to some of the civil society organizations who have involved to campaign in a particular party. The commissioner said

“… As of civil society organizations, nowadays there was no meetings or conferences that we directly discuss or challenge the Government or Political Parties, either to criticize or support them, as we have done earlier, we don’t see that now, so it’s better to rearrange that, [she asked herself] how we can reiterate it? Now, as the members from the civil society who are attending this meeting, I know some of them who are active members within the political parties, and sometimes they campaigns them, so can we represent both the Civil Society and the Political Party. We need to be neutral, and to take our role as civil society…” [9]

September 10, The UCID party has accused both Waddani and Kulmiye parties for illegitimate campaigns in some parts of the country. The Communication Secretary of UCID Yusuf Keyse Abdullahi called the NEC to take action against the unlawful campaigns that these political parties are conducting. [8]

September 10, in a press release, The Chief of Justice Mr. Aden Haji Ali, warned the judges no to attend or involve any activities related to the campaign, he called them to be neutral.

September 11, Somaliland Electoral Commission met with the President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, they discussed on the security, and any other election related matters. Similarly the Electoral Commission met with all the election stakeholders including the Speakers of both Houses of the Parliament, the Chief of Justice, Civil Society Organizations, and the International Organizations. [5]

September 11, Waddani Party criticized both SONSAF and APD and accused them, for not being neutral institutions. Waddani Party called NEC that their political party will not attend any activity that both these institutions are involved including the local observers, were SONSAF is responsible for deploying the local observers.

SONSAF issued a press release, they declined the accusations from the Waddani Party, and they insisted being neutral. SONSAF reaffirms that it’s their responsibility to deploy the local observers and it’s their own duty. [10] [11]

September 11, in press release, UCID denounced to attend the launching of the election dispute resolution organized by SONSAF and NEC. UCID Party announced that they will not participate and will not recognize the role of that committee, since they were not aware of how they was established at the first place. [12]

September 12, Kulmiye Party, has launched its political party program. The President, the Candidates and other members of the Kulmiye Party attended the launching ceremony, and around tree thousand copies of the party program were distributed to the attendees. [4]

September 13, Somaliland National Electoral Commission officially announced that the Voter card distribution Process has ended. In this day the Commission presented its activities for the two months ahead of the November presidential election.

The Commission warned the Political Parties to abide by the rules and regulations of the election, they urged the Government not to use the public assists to the campaign. And the chairman of the National Electoral Commission called the government to provide equal access to the state owned media to all the candidates

The electoral commission also called the political parties to submit their presidential candidates before 29 September 2017, in accordance with the election law, providing that every Party to submit his presidential candidate before 45 days of the Election Day. [1]

September13, Waddani’s Secretary of Justice Mr. Barkhad Jama, criticized the judiciary Branch on the judges who wear the flag of the ruling party during one of kulmiye’s ralies. He told to the media that these judges were actively campaigning to the ruling party. [2]

September 17, The Minister of Information announced that his ministry is ready to give media platform to the opposition parties during the campaign, and he will assign special reporter who will cover their events. [6]

September 18, the two opposition parties declined the minister’s decision to give a chance to the opposition parties, and told that it is their right to use the public media without the consent of the Minister. [7]

September 19, National Electoral Commission held a meeting about ‘Media Code of Ethics, during the election’. The Chairman of Somaliland Journalist Association, Representatives from the political parties, Ministry of Information and the Media Institutions attended the meeting. However, the two opposition parties of Waddani and UCID have jointly held a press conference against a technical issues related to the implementation of a Committee who are observing the Media during the election. Until now, there are no comprehensive agreement between the parties, and the Media Code of Conduct is very important of having a free and fair election in Somaliland. [13][14]

RECOMMENDATIONS

• National Electoral Commission held different meetings with the Civil Society, International Organizations, and Speakers of both Houses of the Parliament, The President and the Supreme Court. NEC and these institutions discussed on the election process and the challenges. Also NEC attended a Public Debate, where audiences asked direct questions about the election and the preparation. CPA is welcoming this new step that NEC is sharing the information to the public and other institutions. We see that sharing information can enhance the transparency and having a free and fair election.

• CPA beliefs that listening and negotiations are best way to solve any complains, and can enhance the trust between institutions. CPA is calling SONSAF, APD and Waddani to put the election interest first. And SONSAF, and APD consider the complaints of Waddani Party. Also we are calling Waddani Party to accept any efforts to solve that complaints.

• CPA is welcoming the decision of the Chief of Justice to warn the Judiciary judges and other personal not to involve in any activities of the political parties. CPA is calling also the judiciary lead by the chief of justice to take further actions to address the complaints of the Waddani party.

• CPA is calling to the National Electoral Commission to intensify efforts to bring together all the different parties who are involved the implementation of the Media Code of Conduct. CPA believes that solving the difference between parties in a technical way is better than to face in a political perspective.

CONCLUSION

Every election complaint must be considered to get free and fair election, CPA is calling for all the election stakeholders not to ignore any election complaints, and complaints must be completed through negotiations and compromises.

Reference:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqEp8UroMAU
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOHzeflpE68
3. http://hadhwanaag.ca/detail.aspx?id=209284
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPjxaO0bq2c
5. http://somalilandtoday.com/nuxurka-kulan-qasriga-madaxtooyada-somaliland-ku-dhex-maray-madaxwayne-siilaanyo-iyo-guddiga-komishanka-qarankasawirro/
6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSwp1t7v7wQ
7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a53rC1m0nlo&t=139s
8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ef93RQEir0
9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D53WaMkStLo
10. http://waddani-party.org/2017/09/12/xisbiga-waddani-oo-joojiyey-wada-shaqayntii-sonsaf-adn/
11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlfEeEnHNB0
12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktmwbkP0NKU
13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42VKnXYrqKQ
14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yawcKzULMaw

 

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CPA was established to help the countries of Horn of Africa region to build, peace, democracy, human rights and effective governance systems where all citizens are equal. CPA is based in Hargeisa, the Capital of Republic of Somaliland.

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