The Registration of Political Associations is a constitutionally protected right


Somaliland’s Constitution is the country’s supreme law. It declares clearly that the country’s political system is open to all citizens, and that everyone has the right to participate in accordance with the constitution’s provisions.

Many people desire political associations to establish, but the opposition parties rejected the notion, thinking that it would endanger their chances of becoming a party again if they competed with future political associations.

The Regulation of Political Associations and Parties Law (Law No 14/2000) was passed in 2000, It marked the beginning of the process by which Somaliland’s multi-party system moved from clan conferences. Article 9¹ of the Somaliland constitution states that the Somaliland political system is multi-party and that no more than three parties can be formed. Law No. 14/2000 made it possible for new associations to compete for party seats in local council elections. The first election took place in 2002 and the winners were UDUB, UCID, and Kulmiye.

After former Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo appointed an advisory committee, the law was amended in 2011. The committee suggested that associations be reopened, and that new associations be established every ten years, the UCID, Kulmiye, and WADDANI parties ran in the 2012 local council elections, and their ten-year party license expires at the end of this year.

The degree to which nations respect and maintain the rule of law and the rights granted by the constitution determines their progress. Furthermore, a country’s political system reflects the country’s virtues or faults, and it is not something that a few persons can redirect; rather, it is a fundamental right of every citizen, and defending it, is a constitutional duty of the relevant authorities and the government.

The Somalilanders challenge  is that they are led by an elderly politician. Politicians vying for power in the country right now are individuals who have served in decision-making positions for the past 30 years. It’s a group that swings from conservative to opposition. Today they’re on the left, and yesterday they were on the right. The person who is complaining today was the one who was involved in corruption the day before. Take a look at the major political parties’ current leadership. You see the leadership of an opposition party that was the focus of public outcry only yesterday, and you see a party chairman who has been serving as a chair for twenty years.

The present political parties are inadequate when it comes to democracy. The chairman is the sole owner, just as if it were a private firm. A new generation is needed to steer the country’s political system and lead it to a policy that is in step with the modern world, one that is free of tribalism and based on principles and values.

The Somaliland Constitutional Court only recently resolved a major political question involving the formation of political associations, but still the present opposition parties are concerned about losing the contest for political alliances. As a result, they developed a tribal structure, which is illegal under the constitution.

A group of 24 citizens filed the lawsuit, claiming that Act No. 14 of 2011 was effective in allowing political parties to open in 2022. As a result, they petitioned the Court to rule that they could form political organizations.

The court accepted the case and decided  that they had the right to form political associations under the 2011 amendments to Law No.14.

Despite expanding its jurisdiction into legislative powers, the court favored citizens’ constitutional rights, because the court inserted a minor revision to Law 14/2011, suspending the election of political associations in local council elections and deciding that political associations or parties shall be elected directly by the Somaliland National Electoral Commission. People will vote for associations and parties as a result of this.

Nonetheless, both the ruling party and the two opposition parties welcomed and accepted the constitutional court’s decision. As a result, it would be preferable if the opposition parties, in order to prevent the elections from being postponed, did everything possible to make the election of political organizations possible.

At the end of this year (2022), the current three parties WADANI, KULMIYE, and UCID will compete against the potential political associations that will be registered on June this year, and the three parties that win will emerge as national parties for the next ten years.

All citizens who want to form political associations ,will be able to do so starting in June of this year. It will also provide people who have been marginalized a chance to participate. Women, youth, minorities, and people with disabilities, for example, make up the majority of voters in the country. They can form political groups or participate in contemporary political movements. It all depends on how well they prepare themselves and build a clear agenda and manifesto in order to reach the country’s decision-making areas.

About the Author

Yousef A Timacade , a lawyer by profession, with LLB, LLM in international law and Executive MBA. 
 Twitter Yousef A Timacade


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