Somaliland: Lame Duck NEC Breathes Life as Wadani Party Rejoins the Electoral Body

Opposition parties Wadani and UCID nominees to the Somaliland National Elections Commission

Somalilandsun: Wadani party shall fulfil its constitutional obligation of being represented at the Somaliland National Elections Commission – NEC.

This was revealed by the opposition party’s Leader cum Presidential candidate Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi aka Irro as he addressed a function commemorating the international women’s day 2020 hosted by the women wing of his party in Hargeisa.

Abdirahman Irro says Wadani party joins NEC after inter-parties agreement on disputed elections in Somaliland2

“Now that we have solved the issues of disputed parliamentary and local councils our party has appointed its representative to NEC” revealed Irro as he urged women to take advantage of Wadani’s policy of gender equity thus pursue nomination as party candidates for parliamentary and local government elective posts come the elections to be held before this year ends.
According to the Somaliland constitution NEC must be composed of seven commissioners nominated by President (ruling party) 2, Guurti 3 and one each from the two national opposition political parties.
The Wadani return to NEC comes in the heels of announcement by UCID the other Somaliland opposition party, that the February resignation of its representative at the elections body has been rejected.
Since the current NEC took office late last year the Wadani party which had disputed the inclusion of some appointees by the presidency, had its nominee refuse to take oath of office thence only six active commissioners.

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 dispute with NEC composition took another dimension after Guurti the upper chamber of Parliament postponed for the uptenth time the parliamentary and local councils elections.
The resultant hullabaloo from the opposition political parties of UCID and Wadani escalated to a point where the state machinery resorted to arrest and detention of senior opposition politicians.
As political tensions reached their peak with the administration of president Bihi and ruling Kulmjye party adamant on the dates of 2022 and 2023 fixed by Guurti members of the international community with a stake in the Somaliland democratization process and local traditional leaders intervened.
The intervention which recommended that the current NEC be disbanded came to nought after the president argued, rightly, that legal channels giving the authority to remove a constitutional body from office before its term expired didn’t exist.
With the stage set to exacerbate the already high political tension relentless reconciliation efforts by the European Envoy to Somalia and Somaliland ambassador Nicholas Berlanga bore fruits.

Read: The Political Wrangles and Zigzag Route to Failed Elections in Somaliland
The reconciliation between President (Kulmiye Party), Wadani and UCID opposition parties culminated with an intra-parties agreement that if implemented to the letter brings to an end the dispute emanating from NEC membership composition and postponed elections.

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

According to the intra-parties agreement the Somaliland parliamentary and local councils elections shall be held before end of 2020, establishment of a Technical Elections Management Unit-TEMU composed of immediate past NEC commissioners and Inclusion of three representatives from the international community.
While the return to NEC of Wadani and UCID ensures that the electoral body conforms with constitutional dictates, it remains a LAME DUCK institution since the Amb Berlanga mediated reconciliation makes it Subordinate to TEMU as pertains to overall management of the before end of 2020 parliamentary and local governments elections.
Read full details of the Intra-Parties agreement
In the meantime Somalilanders are anxiously anticipating full implementation of the Amb Berlanga inter-parties agreement to the letter thence end to prolonged political tensions and more so a new crop of MPs in their country which last held parliamentary elections a decade ago.