Parliamentary election may be delayed more than a year in Somaliland



Last week the National Electoral Commission announced a long-awaited decision saying they are not able to hold an election in 2019.

Scheduled in November 2019, the parliamentary and local councils elections are already overdue. The last parliamentary election was conducted in 2005, and in 2012 for the local councils. Both have five years term.

The electoral commission said the election will not be possible for technical, political and legal reasons. The electoral law is a draft with the parliament, and disagreement over the composition of the commission is yet to be solved.

The term of the members is also ending in November.

The public has been waiting for a parliamentary election to happen in nearly ten years.

Recently the three political parties made an agreement intended to solve the controversy on the composition of the commission. Their agreement requires a change in the law, which is the job of the parliament.

Members of the parliament elected from Sool, Awdal and eastern Sanaag walked away from the session of the parliament when the agreement of the parties was tabled. They protested over seat allocation.

The members of the House of Representatives are 82 and there is no law defining how these members have to be shared by the six regions of Somaliland. The current composition was temporarily approved for 2005 election.

Some people accuse the members of the Parliament of delay tactics who are using the seat allocation as a pretext to stay indefinitely.

However, it is an important question that remains unresolved which will pose a challenge to hold elections.

Unless political parties come into agreement, it is likely that the House of Elders will extend the term of the House of Representatives more than a year, experts believe.


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