Somaliland: Opposition Parties Ask New NEC Commissioners to Resign


The Somaliland opposition political parties asked the newly sworn-in members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Saturday, to voluntarily resign in deference to everyone’s wish at present in order to attend to other hurdles impeding an early schedule of parliamentary and municipal elections within the current year.

Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan, the ‘Leader’ of Waddani Party, spoke to the press following a meeting the two opposition parties of UCID and Waddani held at the former’s office, Saturday.

Mr Hirsi said that the two parties deeply deliberated on the matter of the outstanding NEC issue and that examining and weighing all ramifications and angles, the two parties have come to the conclusion that they publicly appeal to the new commissioners to leave office on their own.

“So the nation takes a step forward and in order to hold the slated elections within the year, we publicly appeal to the six parliament-approved commissioners and the Waddani appointee who has not yet been approved to resign on their own volition respectful of the people’s wishes and the calls of all and sundry to get the elections wrapped up as soon as possible,” he stated.

Hirsi, however, skipped the part his party played in vilifying the old commissioners calling them all sorts of names for the past two years vowing that Waddani will never participate in an election the outgone commissioners conducted. That stand was partially responsible for the stringent stand the government and its ruling party had taken of recent. Waddani never apologized to the public for wasting those two years, taking a  complete turnabout on the matter. UCID’s was most times of a more mellowed type, more amenable to compromise.

The President, who appointed three of the seven NEC commissioners and – most probably – who must have played an undeniable part in the nomination and approval of another two, came out publicly, last week, to announce that he had no legal recourse to disband commissioners who went through a legitimate process to assume office.

President Bihi said the only option to make them go was to convince the commissioners to voluntarily resign on their own and leave office.

The President’s declaration was widely interpreted as another contrived outburst designed to absolve the head of state of a constitutional obligation to lead to the nation to the desired elections – an added hurdle to an already highly piled up stack of setbacks.

If the commissioners resigned as called, then the action will pave a way for the first proposal of the voluntary mediation committee (VMC) which called for the reinstatement of the old more technically conversant, better-experienced commissioners to save precious time for an early election.

Constitutionally, nobody can make appointed and legislatively approved commissioners go without their consent.

Article 13 (1) of the Presidential and Municipal Elections Law, No. 20/2001, states that a commissioner can only be made to leave office constitutionally if the said member violates any of the tenets which decided his/her nomination, or if he/she failed to competently and efficiently serve position due to any number of valid reasons including incompetence and ill health, or if the commissioner was found guilty of fraud, dishonourable behaviour, or dishonesty and the like.


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