Somalilandsun: Somalilandsun: The power struggle at the National Elections Commission-NEC is an internal issue that is best left to the body.
This according to the opposition Wadani party in reaction to the ongoing power struggle at NEC the constitutional body tasked with managing elections and referendums in Somaliland.
The opposition party was expressing sentiments to news that the NEC Chairperson Abdirashid Mohamud Ali aka ‘Riyo-raac has and with immediate effect been removed from office and replaced with Commissioner Kaltun Sheikh Hasan Abdi
The embattled commission boss was removed from office through a majority vote by his fellow commissioners at the electoral body who have the legal power to elect and fire their leaders.
In a short video clip posted at the party’s official twitter handle @WaddaniP any one of the body’s seven Commissioners has a right to serve as Chairperson
“we shall Work and in close cooperation as usual with any commissioner chosen as leader of NEC” said Ismail Ismail Adan Osman (Ismail Yare), the coordinator of Wadani party’s relations with the electoral commission
Ismaaciil Aadan Cismaan (Ismaaciil Yare) oo Xisbiga WADDANI u qaabilsan Komishanka doorashooyinka ayaa si kooban uga hadlay isbedelka ka dhacay hoggaanka Guddida Doorashooyinka Qaranka oo maanta guddoomiye cusub doortay pic.twitter.com/yEkUictfme
— WADDANI PARTY (@WaddaniP) April 27, 2022
Despite the seemingly indifference from Wadani , that has for long pursued the very exact ouster of Riyo-raac , following the 2017 elections that saw sitting president Muse Bihi of the ruling kulmiye party defeat the party’s Abdirahman Abdilahi Irro
The standoff raised political temperatures in the country and subsequent local and international pressure to the administration of President Bihi and opposition parties of UCID and Wadani
In the height of the dispute the opposition parties accused NEC of Covert intent to subvert democracy , in which Somaliland is acclaimed for.
“The recurrent rescheduling of elections and attendant political discontent in Somaliland is as a result of incumbency of current National Elections Commission-NEC Commissioners”
This was stated by then senior Wadani party official and leader Hirsi Haji Ali in Hargeisa adding that “For the national good of Somaliland we call upon the sitting national elections commissioners to Voluntarily resign thence break the deadlock of delayed elections in the country”
The sentiments were in relation to agreements reached by president Bihi and political parties to disband the current NEC and reinstate the immediate past one as per outcome of mediation efforts by Elders reconciliation committee.
This was recommendation from an elders reconciliation team that wanted the sitting NEC commissioners replaced by the immediate predecessors.
While both the opposition parties had bones to crunch, Wadani ,went to the extreme of having its nominee to the Commission refuse to take oath of office, thus paralysing operations.
The Somaliland elections commissioners are nominated by Guurti (Upper chamber of Parliament) 2, the president 3 and one each by the opposition parties for the full quorum of seven.
The impasse that failed despite the elders intervention ensued with threats of dire consequences from the internationally composed Somaliland democratisation partners that has nurtured the process with both funds and expertise since the first democratic elections of 2002.
But the feared political fallout was averted following mediation by the then envoy of the European Union to Somalia Amb Nicholas Berlanga
A Compromise dubbed the ‘ Berlanga Accords’ was reached in which a technical team was incorporated to the electoral body tasked with overseeing then planned parliamentary and local councils elections.
The Berlanga Accords that paved the way for Conduct Somaliland Parliamentary and local Council’s elections in 2020 and Signed on the 27th February 2020 in Hargeisa by the three principals namely President Muse Bihi for Kulmiye party, Abdirahman Irro –Wadani and Eng. Feisal Ali Warabe for UCID Succeeded courtesy of establishing the Technical Elections Monitoring Team-TEMU
The proposed 10 members TEMU was made up 7 members of the immediate past NEC with voting powers and three non-voting members representing the International community with the head and deputy chiefs selected from voting members
The National Elections Commission has the overall and constitutional mandate to manage elections in the country but in the planned 2020 parliamentary and local councils elections it shall delegate day to day management duties to a Technical Elections Management Unit that shall undertake its obligations pursuant to relevant laws of the country. For more details read Technical Unit to Manage 2020 Somaliland Parliamentary and Local Council’s Elections -Parties Agree
As of now its wait and see in which direction the power struggle takes the National Elections Commission as Somaliland gears for presidential elections later in the year