Somaliland is a place of stability in comparison with many African countries since it has regained its sovereignty from Somalia in 1991. Despite having no legal recognition from international community, it has been able to show a high-level of stability which does not exist in the other parts of Somalia in the past 27 years. It has managed to avoid many of the problems encountered by its neighbors. It has successfully conducted its last presidential election in 2017 in which the ruling party-Kulmiye won while the main opposition party-Waddani has accepted the results but accused the electoral commission of conducting irregularities and fraud demanding the president to dissolve the current commission.
According to Election Monitoring Office of Centre for Policy analysis in Hargeisa, the disagreement of Somaliland Political Parties can delay the preparation of the process in the upcoming elections as outlined by (EMO) in October 2018. The situation appears to be bad and the country is getting into deep coma as the rules and regulations remained a material of verbal expressions which give an opportunity to the opposition parties to demand something that the constitution does not allow according to the legal experts.
In order to reach a political solution over the current issues, President Muse Bihi Abdi and the leaders of the opposition parties met in the past September to discuss the fate of 2019 planned parliamentary and council elections which are now believed to be in a Limbo. After their meeting, the president and the party leaders have agreed to assign 6-member committee from each political party to start discussions on the future of Somaliland 2019 elections.
Having done several meetings, the opposition parties held a joint press conference in October 3rd, 2018 announcing that all efforts to reach a consensus failed following the opposition demands were rejected by the ruling party. Speaking on behalf of UCID political party, Prof, Abdi Muse Abyan, the deputy presidential candidate stated that they have stopped to work with ruling party justifying that UCID party came up with an idea to increase the number of electoral commission while Hussein Ahmed Aided spoke on behalf of Waddani in the joint press conference, underling that all the proposals raised by Waddani and UCID were rebuffed by Kulmiye while Waddani party insisted its demand about the electoral commission be dissolved by the president claiming that the last year’s presidential election was marred by corruption
In October, 4th, ruling party 2nd Deputy chairman Ahmed Abdi Dhere held a press conference and responded the opposition allegations stating that the electoral commission has a specified date to be in office and still they have time to stay since they have done the presidential election successfully. This was followed by a press conference held by Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi on October 20th at the presidential palace, emphasizing that the fact of holding the elections on time is going to be unclear due to the positions of the political parties to solve their differences. He accused the main opposition party of plotting to sabotage the 2019 elections while Waddani party leader also declared that they will not attend an election if the president does not dissolve the current electoral commission.
This has been followed by other press conferences last week held by the two main opposition parties of Somaliland separately at their offices in Hargeisa warning the president against any delay in the parliamentary and local elections. Dr. Mohamed Ali Abdi- Waddani vice-presidential candidate and Deputy Chairman of UCID, Mr. Abdinasir Mohamoud Hassan “Buuni” have informed the general public that the president is responsible for the current political deadlock over elections as he was planning to delay the elections intentionally.
In this case, the different political oppositions that each party is insisting can put Somaliland stability and its long lasting democratization process to be under a threat if not solved quickly. We the citizens, call for the political party leaders and the president of Somaliland for a close collaboration to solve the ongoing dispute which has already soared to the sky. Because every citizen is concerned about this political stalemate which can be a threat to Somaliland’s hardly gained achievements in Somaliland in the past 27 year and its attempts to push for an international recognition from the world countries.
Finally, the election stakeholders should come up with flexibility and a compromise in order to avoid a political crisis. You! Mr. President and the leaders of political parties must reach a sustainable and effective way out for your differences in order the elections are held on time. The opposition political parties must also abstain from holding on what they call for national consultation conferences which are illegal according to the law. Everything must be solved in a legal manner or a political compromise between the political parties be obtained because the citizens are very disappointed on the way, you are behaving. Please put the common interest before yours.
Muse Jeeh, a freelance writer based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.