Africa Sonsaf Position Paper on Somaliland mediation committee recommendations
On 17th of December 2019, representatives from Somaliland Civil Society Organizations have gathered for a meeting held at the Somaliland Non – State Actors Forum (SONSAF) office. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the outcome of the mediation committee. There has been much disputes between the three political parties in recent months. However, its vital to note that all disputes are surrounding the selection of the new National Election Commissionaires (NEC) and their credibility, transparency to hold the elections.
As a direct result of the disputes between the two political parties and the ruling government, Waddani and UCID issued a joint press release regarding their position. Stating that they will not work with the current government.
As such the mediation committee engaged in; back and forth battle to bring about a change that would be acceptable to all concerned stakeholders. The mediation committee concluded with the following main recommendations:
· To dismiss the new NEC members-due to their controversy overall
· To reinstate the previous NEC members-due to their experience
· For the political parties to evade from any further disruptions to the reputation of Somaliland democracy
Somaliland Civil Society welcomes the mediation committee’s decision to conclude the process, as the continues disagreements between the three political parties is damaging to the moral of the Somaliland people and our relationship with the international community on the whole.
At the end of the meeting, representatives from the Somaliland Civil Society Organizations have collectively issued the following advice:
1. A new credible NEC that adheres to the criteria/ law should be established ASAP, in order to solve the deadlock of the election process.
2. All challenges and obstacles for the elections should be solved with the stakeholders and the government should take a proactive role in following the law/constitution for the good and reputation of Somaliland democracy
3. For the Guurti to call out for early elections
4. The core challenges with seat allocations including minorities and women quota must be concluded
5. The CSO’s are further urging for all electoral laws including any amendments and approvals must be enacted and finalised
6. For there to be a clear timetable for the elections which does not exceed more than ten months.
Finally, the statement of the Somaliland Civil Society Organizations is to deepen peace, stability and democratic ideals and inform that all political parties to uphold Somaliland constitutional Laws and to avoid any actions that can impair the unity of the Somaliland community in general.
Somaliland Non-state Actors consist of:
· Traditional Elders Associations as peace builders and State-building Networks
· Religious Associations
· The private sector Associations
· Civil society organisation Networks (Women, Youth, Disability, HIV, FGM, Environmental networks etc.)
· Professional and academic institutions (Media association, Universities, Lawyers Association, Engineering associations, Research institutions, health professional associations)