Somaliland: Lame Duck NEC Acquires Partial Flight Capabilities as Parliament Approves Opposition Parties Representatives

Somaliland NEC commissioners take oath of office-archive photo

Somalilandsun: The Somaliland National Election -NEC is now fully compliant with constitutional stipulations that dictate that two of its seven commissioners must be representatives of the country’s two opposition.

In a special session at the parliament buildings in Hargeisa two citizens representing the opposition Wadani and UCID political parties were approved as members of the Somaliland National Commission-NEC.

Somaliland house of representatives in session file foto

The special session summoned purposely for the vote of the two commissioners had a quorum of 53 members out of the total eighty one.

in their approval the legislators voted 51 and 49 aye votes to make Wadani party’s Abdikarim Dalmar and  UCIDs Abdifatah Ibrahim commissioners of the Electoral Body.

Though the current NEC was establsihed late last year it has been unable to be fully constituted owing to the absence of Wadani party’s representative followed by the early 2020 resignation of UCIDs appointee due to political differences occasioned by the postponement of parliamentary and local councils elections for the umpteenth time.

L-R President Bihi of Kulmiye, Eng Feisal Ali Warabe-UCID and Abdirahman Irro of Wadani sign agreement to hold Somaliland parliamentary and local councils elections in 2020

The return of the opposition parties to NEC is as a result of a tripartite political parties (Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani)  agreement arbitrated by the EU envoy to Somaliland and Somalia Nicholas Berlanga that resolved a long standing dispute on composition of the national election commission-NEC and oft postponed elections especially parliamentary which were last held over a decade ago.

According to the Somaliland constitution and election laws NEC is to be composed of seven commissioners two of whom are appointed by the two national opposition political parties, two by Guurti the country’s upper chamber of parliament and the remaining three by the president, read ruling party.

So NEC which had been unable to function properly owing to the absence of opposition parties representation can now move ahead with preparations for the parliamentary and local councils elections slated for late this year courtesy of the Amb Berlanga accord.

Though now fully constituted the operational mandate of NEC is at a very uncertain since the Amb Berlanga inter-parties agreement also established a ten member  Technical Election Monitoring Unit-TEMU

TEMU shall be made up of the 7 members of the immediate past NEC with voting powers and Three non-voting members representing the International community whose mandate is to execute day to day activities of the planned late 2020  elections in Somaliland.

EU Envoy Nicholas Berlanga visible at the joint press briefing revealing Somaliland political parties’ agreement on 2020 elections

While the approval of the two opposition parties representatives, the hitherto Lame duck NEC  has one of its missing wings back but it remains to be seen how the Somaliland electoral body shall acquire full flight capabilities since its second wing  is firmly in the sphere of a unconstitutional  TEMU that has usurped all its constitutionally accorded powers especially as pertains forthcoming parliamentary and local councils elections.

Related Read The Political Wrangles and Zigzag Route to Failed Elections in Somaliland