Somaliland: Wobbling To Elections 2017


{jcomments on}As  party leaders emit worries of timely polls while donors avail equipment and not liquid cash

Financial worries hinder smooth preparations for Somaliland 2015 Presidetial and Parliamentary Elections slated for 28 March 2017

By: Yusuf M Hasan

Somalilandsun – Preparations for The Somaliland presidential and parliamentary elections slated for March 2017 are encumbering funding difficulties.

The timely undertaking of the polls that shall be the first in the country to have voters elect president and legislators simultaneously are of concern to leadership of the three national political parties thus a recent meeting with representatives of donor countries with a stake in the Somaliland democratization process.

At the closed door meeting in Hargeisa in which the leaders of Wadani Abdirahman Irro, UCID’s Eng Feisal Ali Warabe and deputy chair of ruling Kulmiye party Mohamed Ahmed Kahin voiced their concerns over delayed voter registration due to insufficient funds.

According to arrangements that have withstood the tide of time since the first elections of 2002 the Somaliland government has contributed 25% of the total cost of the entire polls with the balance paid by donors.

Sources indicate that the National Election Commission-NEC which is availed the funds in phases is in receipt of meager sums mainly from the state coffers while the Somaliland democratization steering Committee is yet to avail relevant quotas.

Quipping on whether the closed purse strings is in relation to the hotly contested Decision by Guurti to extend the tenure of the president and parliament for two years thus postponing elections from June 2015 to March 2017, sources indicate the donor representative as stating that internal political disputes have nothing to do with the issue.

Despite the denial by the international community that the Guurti postponement of election has nothing to do with funding constraints the loud noises made by the IC on the issue still vibrate in many ears.

Though snippets from the in-camera meeting inform that the donors pledged to expedite payment the situation looks gloomy at NEC where planned activities are yet to take place despite the loud silence from the electoral body.

one of the assorted election tools availed Somaliland

On the other hand the alleged lackluster involvement of the country’s international democratization stakeholders in Election preparations is contradicted by the arrival in the country of a big consignment of Donor supplied equipment relevant to conduct of successful elections.

In this respect NEC has in total received 350 voter registration kits of which 30 arrived early for training and testing purposes and the rest arriving on a chartered plane last week. Each kit is in a black transporter box and it includes a laptop with a lot of tailor-made software, a camera/Iris scanner and a printer.

According to the Hawdian who hopes Somaliland shall use social media to conduct elections in the future Even Kenya does not use this technology that is product Denmark and delivered by an Ukrainian owned Antonov 12 Cargo Plane.

With this equipment entirely sponsored by the external donors and the wails about their refusal to chip in, one would not be mistaken in presuming that the Democratization steering committee is surely much involved but only where liquid cash does not change hands.

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