By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The national election commission-NEC is to review local council election results.
NEC is currently engaged in a review of the disputed election results for Hargeisa municipality which sparked protestsleading to the death of two people and injuries to seven others.
This was revealed by the chairman of the election body Commissioner Isse Yusuf Mohamed ‘Hamari’ during an interview with BBC Somali service where he informed that the review decision emanates from a desire to stop further bloodshed.
Said he, “I hereby extend NEC condolences
to the families
of the two people who died during election related disturbances in Hargeisa on Thursday”
Immediately after the national election commission-NEC released results for the Hargeisa municipality elections on Thursday, supporters of Haqsoor party who accused the election body and the ruling Kulmiye party of vote rigging.
The demonstrations which started the at the capital citys’Ahmed Dagah district where Haqsoor derives most of its support was put down by the crack Rapid Reaction Unit of police thus the deaths and injuries.
It is yet to be established who fired the fateful bullets that killed and injured the supporters considering that both sides were using firearms.
The disputed results that are to be reviewed are related to the 230,000 votes cast during the 28th local council elections in Hargeisa where the ruling Kulmiye party leading the pack of seven contesting parties after it scoped 7 seats while the second position is jointly shared by Wadani, Haqsoor and UCID with 4 seats each followed by Ummada with 3 and Dalsan 2 while Rays has the honour of tail position with one seat.
While informing that the Hargeisa election results review is not only intended to assuage supporters of parties that faired badly but deter further violence as well, Commissioner Isse Hamari said he does not expect major changes in the current tally.
During the vote recount all the seven parties of Kulmiye, Umadda, Haqsoor, UCID, Dalsan, Wadani and Rays that contested the local council elections shall be in attendance for first hand witness.
Despite the good intentions of NEC, the Hargeisa election results review will open the Pandora box of local council election results in other regions where a number of parties have disputed them too.
Meanwhile the rioting Haqsoor party supporters have been asked to remain calm while their grievances are addressed.
This message which came from various leadership was delivered on Friday at diversified forums that include press statements, Public address and Sermons at mosques in the capital city and elsewhere. Those urging orderly conduct included Traditional leaders, National security chiefs, Guurti Elders as well as the Haqsoor party leadership.
During a public address to the belligerent demonstrators at the Hargeisa stadium in Ahmed Dagah district the Haqsoor Party leader Mr. Hasan Isse Jama told party supporters to remain calm in order to protect and maintain national security.
Said he, “While condoling the families of those who lost their lives, I urge you to remain calm and withdraw your protests against the results of local council elections released by NEC”
At the same function various traditional leaders who also condoled the nation for the deaths further urged the party supporters mostly youths to desist from acts that might be detrimental to peaceful co-existence
On the other hand, The Sanaag regional high is yet to act on a request by a number of candidates from different political parties who want the court to deter the National election Commission-NEC from announcing local council election results for the Erigavo local council in Sanaag region until a recount is undertaken.
According to the results released by the Erigavo district and Sanaag NEC regional offices, of the 66,988 total of votes cast Wadani party is leading after having garnered 18,828 votes (6 seats) followed by Kulmiye with 15,866 votes (5 seats), Umadda 13,919 votes (4 seats), UCID 5,658 votes (2 seats), Rays 5,114 votes (2 seats) while both Haqsoor with 4,898 votes and Dalsan with 2,714 votes got a seat each.
Following delays emanating from the regional court in stopping NEC utilizing the disputed results, the litigating candidates who are mostly those that lost their bid to become councilors confronted the regional high court judge Ahmed Salah Yonis who promised action not later than Wednesday last week is yet to do anything.