This dual-election is unlike anything we have seen before.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in Somaliland in May 2021, alongside local district elections.
On 12 July 2020, Somaliland’s three main political parties reached an agreement to hold parliamentary and local elections by the end of the year. After several weeks of negotiations with the National Electoral Commission on the practicability of organizing elections in that time, a revised date of May 2021 was settled upon.
Somaliland’s 2001 constitution which citizens approved in a referendum that passed with 97 percent of the vote established a multiparty system. Since then, although there has only been one set of parliamentary elections, Somaliland has held three presidential elections and two sets of local elections.
In contrast to the rest of Somalia, Somaliland holds direct elections, one vote, and one man. The country’s elections have generally been considered credible by domestic and international observers, but constant election delays have weakened the country’s democratic credentials.
In Republic of Somaliland, citizens are expected to go to the polls on 31 May 2021 to elect legislators and local councilors for the first time in 15 and 8 years, respectively. These will be the seventh elections since 2002 and the introduction of multiparty democracy. Somaliland was praised for conducting timely elections ever since and gained the reputation of a peaceful and growing democracy within the region of the Horn of Africa, which is marked by hostilities and autocratic regimes. However, Somaliland is yet to graduate into a mature democracy and has drawn condemnation in recent years amid sustained term extensions despite the fact that the Somaliland constitution clearly limits office terms for elected officials to five years.
With 1.3 million registered voters (roughly 30% of the number of inhabitants in Somaliland) expected to cast their votes on the ballot box with 246 candidates running for 82 parliamentary seats and 966 competing for 249 region district seats in the six areas, these decisions will be the most serious yet. The active parliamentarians were chosen in 2005 and sat for a very long time, 10 years longer than their ordered service time restraint. Essentially, the active local government councils were chosen in 2012. The residents of Somaliland are resolved to demolish these unscrupulous legislators. As expressed before, while occupant president ( his excellency, the president Mussa Bihi Abdi) have frequently played the game to acquire time and energy to hold these two dual elections for the very first time in the history of this country under his presidency or musa’s era of the Republic of Somaliland. Somaliland Government or the public authority will give at any rate 80% of the NEC’s budget plan, with international community accomplices covering the rest. As indicated by the NEC, it will utilize biometric citizen enrollment and a refined democratic framework in which university students have prepared work at the surveying stations to guarantee smooth activities with least specialized errs and interruptions. May 31 is of noteworthy importance for Somaliland as it denotes the 30th commemoration of Somaliland’s freedom and the twentieth commemoration of Somaliland’s multiparty popular government. It was on May 31st 2001 that Somaliland electors supported the constitution through a submission. Somaliland youth brought into the world after 1991 have never gotten an opportunity to choose their parliamentary agents.
Finally all mechanisms to engage citizens’ aspirations, to build trust and confidence in the democratization process, seminars, lectures, debates and discussions may play a vital role, while the involvement of external institutions will be necessary for providing training in the democratization process of the Republic of Somaliland, specifically for the upcoming parliament and the emerging political parties which will be held on 31 May 2021.
By Abdirahman Yusuf Aided
International Relations| Diplomacy and Global studies at New Generation University
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.
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