By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The National Election Commission-NEC is irk by some activities undertaken by political parties.
NEC has warned the seven political parties contesting forthcoming local council elections against the display of candidate symbols or numbers.
According to the chairperson of the election body Isse Yusuf Mohamed ‘Hamari’ the political parties have to wait the official NEC numbers allocated their respective candidates thus deter confusions during the 28th November local council elections.
The NEC boss warned that any political party found including any numbers on their candidate’s posters would be dealt with as per the dictates of the law.
The NEC statement read:
Quote- All political parties are hereby warned against allocating their candidates any election numbers and displaying them on posters until NEC releases the official NUMBERS TO BE USED IN THE ELECTIONS.
Failure to comply with this warning will result in the severest punishment allowed by the country’s legal system-Unquote
The local council elections which are the second in the country’s history will see NEC assign candidates numbers rather than symbols due to what the election managing body says is as a result of the large volume of candidates thus inability to display symbols in one paper.
A sample case of this phenomenon is Hargeisa where each of the seven political parties will have 25 candidates contesting the elections thus 175 names on one paper. NEC took this argument to parliament thus the amendment that allows it to allocate numbers rather than symbols.
The use of numbers instead of symbols has raised fears that it will confuse illiterate voters thus delay in amending the election law which was hotly debated in parliament and rejected once, only to be approved after NEC said it cannot succeed while using symbols.