Horndiplomat-This Monthly newsletter from the Election Monitoring Office provides a brief description of the political events that occurred in Somaliland, mostly relating with the election process. 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 Somaliland.
165 days are remaining from the date assigned for the elections of House of Representatives and Local Councils in Somaliland – The Election Day is scheduled on March 27, 2019. But, there are enormous hinders on the occurrence of the elections. These emerging issues can affect the election plan and preparation, if not come up a quick plan to solve the challenges, it is very difficult to hold the election on time because of the short period and the tasks which are needed to be done before the election date. Also the stakeholders are not on the same side how election will happen and still there is no common agreed plan and roadmap about the upcoming elections between the political parties.
Challenges to hold the election of parliament and local council elections on time.
Following are the most vital challenges on the upcoming Parliament and Local Council elections:
- THE ASSURANCE OF THE THREE POLITICAL PARTIES: in order to hold free and fair election, the election stakeholders must agree the roadmap and preparation process of the election and also the Election Commission must have the confidence of the stakeholders. WADDANI Opposition party is not happy about the work of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and they sent a complaint letter to the president of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi, which they demanded the termination of the Election Commission, but the president exposed that he is not agreed the accusation from Waddani party to the Election Commission. Still that problem exists, without solving this matter, can affect the election preparation process.
- ELECTON BILL: The Bill has been in the Parliament more than three months and still the house didn’t debate it. MPs pointed out that there are some political concerns in the bill which MPs in the parliament have opposing views, like the seat allocation of the parliament. They believe that they can’t debate the seat allocation formula of the Parliament in the bill, without political agreement among the Political Parties, the Government and the Regions who are complaining about the current seat allocation of the parliament. Somaliland has 6 regions, every region has its own seat allocation of the 82 MPs in the parliament,
|o||Sanaag Region has||12||MPs,|
|o||Awdal has||13 MPs|
For Example Awdal and Eastern Regions are complaining about the current seat allocation formula and the representation of the parliament which they believe it is unfair. They are lobbying to redistribute the seat allocation to have more seats in the lower house of the
Parliament. This issue has its own political weight in the election of House of Representatives.
- WOMEN’S QUOTA: in the electoral bill, this needs a political pressure to support the adoption of the quota.
- SECURITY TENSIONS IN EASTERN REGIONS: The other political challenges which can be an obstacle to the upcoming election, is the security tensions in eastern regions of Somaliland which has its security and political weight on the upcoming elections. If not solved the security tension of Tukaraq, the armed insurgent movement in Sanaag region and as well as the other post-election grievances resulted by the presidential election, these issues can have a political and security impact and pressure to the upcoming election, particularly in eastern regions, where government will need more security forces during the election preparation and the election day, but now the security forces are busy to those tensions in eastern regions.
- INTERNATIONAL ELECTION STAKEHOLDERS: International Election Stakeholders are not giving main concentration and attention to Somaliland upcoming elections unlike the previous elections. This will also have an effect on the current preparation process of the upcoming election. Most of the donors gave their main effort and attention to Somalia’s upcoming election. UK’s State Minister of Africa Harriett Baldwin and Denmark’s Ambassador to Somalia Amb. Mette Knudsen met the president of Somaliland and discussed Election Related issues. It is very important to Somaliland Election Process to have the attention of the International Community.
There are also technical issues which is needed to be done before the election date. For Instance, updating the voter registration, like registering the voters who missed the earlier registration, citizens who reached the voting age after the earlier voter registration etc; all these issues need a concrete plan, political agreement, time and financial input.
SUMMARY OF THE ELECTION ACTIVITIES COMPILED IN THIS MONTH Following are the election activities compiled in this month, include some of worrying incidents.
- September 19, 2018: The President of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi met with the chairmen of opposition parties, Waddani and UCID in presidential palace. The agenda of the meeting was about the vital obstacles on the upcoming election. The President and both opposition leaders agreed on;
A. To select a committee from the three political parties. The committees consist of 18 members. The committee is mandated to settle and bring the solution of the upcoming election key barriers
B. To arrange special meeting between the president and two chairmen of the opposition parties to discuss emerging change in the region and as well as the role of Somaliland.
- September 23, 2018: President Muse Bihi and opposition leaders met again in Hargeisa. During 9 hours long meeting, they have discussed about elections, internal and foreign policy and other important issues.2
- September 25, 2018: the committee of the political parties have met in Grand Hadi Hotel, Hargeisa. The members have set a seven points agenda, the first point was the issue of the National Electoral Commission, since Waddani Opposition Party was not happy the work of the NEC. The meeting concluded without result and agreement on the National Election Commission issue. Members of the committee suggested to UCID and KULMIYE parties to meet privately and to make a compromise and a solution about the issue of NEC.
- September 28, 2018: Members from UCID and KULMIYE parties have met in the Somaliland Vice-Presidents’ house. The aim of the meeting was to seek a solution about the disagreements between the political parties about NEC Issue, but the meeting was concluded without result.
- September 30, 2018: A letter signed by the second chairman of KULMIYE party, Ahmed Abdi Dheere, was stated that the executive committee of the party approved the dismissal of the chairman of the central committee of Kulmiye Jama Ismaciil Shabeel. The decision is also mentioned that the party removed his membership in the party. The second chairman’s decision is mentioned that the chairman is violated article 56 of the party’s internal constitution. The grounds on the dismissal of Mr. Shabeel are about disciplinary measures of the members and officials of the party.
- October 1, 2018: The Chairman of the Central Committee Jama Shabel, which the party’s
Executive Committee sacked, told the media that his dismissal is illegal and his central committee of the party are hierarchically higher than the Executive Committee so the Executive committee has not the mandate to dismiss him. He also argued that the second chairman who signed his dismissal was not approved by the central committee so he described him (the Second Chairman) that he has no the legitimate power to take that action. Mr. Jama Shabeel have called an urgent meeting of the members of the central committee which he scheduled on the Saturday of October 6, 2018.
Produced by: Election Monitoring Office (EMO) of Center for Policy Analysis