The European Union delegation which consisted of ambassadors from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, UK and also from Switzerland, which had been on a visit to Somaliland the past few days, have held discussions with various groups from the Somaliland political arena.
The delegation which had already met with President Muse Bihi Abdi, also conducted extensive discussions with officials from Somaliland’s three political parties, the confederation of non-governmental agencies, SONSAF, and the Somaliland National Elections Commission (NEC).
These discussions were to ascertain the current status on the preparation for the parliamentary and local elections scheduled for December 2019, just eight months away.
The EU delegation stressed to their Somaliland counterparts the need to hold these elections and to resist the temptation to extend the mandate for these bodies. The EU provides the majority of the funds and the logistic support for elections in Somaliland.
Meanwhile , in a separate meeting in Hargeisa, senior officials from the three political parties, Kulmiye, Waddani and UCID have been meeting to hammer out a consensus on the issues blocking the holding of parliamentary and local elections.
The main stumbling block is the current NEC. Waddani and UCID would like to see the current commission disbanded, since their mandate expires before the December elections, whilst Kulmiye would like to see an extension for the current commission until after the scheduled elections in December, 2019.
As of yet, no agreement has been reached.