The cabinet of ministers of the Republic of Somaliland, chaired by President Musa Bihi, in its regular, weekly meeting on Thursdays, insisted that political associations’ election will take place before a presidential election is held.
A statement posted on the official Presidency Facebook page said that the council of ministers placed the presidential election previously slated for November 13 behind another to decide which three political parties will participate in the presidential.
“As is laid out by the law, existing political parties are waived of partaking in the first screening activities of political associations. The parties, however, will take part in the elections deciding what three political parties will receive certificates as political parties allowing them to run in the presidential election,” the statement said.
This meant that the existing parties, Kulmiye (ruling party), UCID and Waddani, have to fight for their current status as political parties with another 15 political associations that have successfully registered for the privilege.
Opposition parties wanted the presidential election to be conducted a month before their current terms ended. The term of the President ends in early November and that of parties at the end of December this year.
Sequencing of the elections has been at the centre of sharp contention between the government and its party, on the one side, and the opposition Waddani and UCID partied, on the other. Demonstrations aiming to highlight this view which the opposition held across the country on August 11 caused five directly related deaths and the injury of over a hundred more including security officers.
The CoM view also directly scoffed at a proposal a voluntary committee comprising topnotch names in the business community broadcasted hours earlier.
The nationally-motivated committee, made uneasy by the course of events revolving around the political contentions existing between the government and opposition parties, suggested that the political associations and presidential elections ought to be held simultaneously as has been the case with the parliamentary and local councils elections last year.
The CEOs of Dahabshiil, Telesom, and WorldRemit, Abdirashid Duale, Abdilkarim Mohamed Eid and Ismail Ahmed, respectively, Haji Adan Ahmed Derie ‘Baradho’, Mohamed Shukri and Abdullahi Arab Ismail, made up the committee.
The committee urged relevant stakeholders, namely, the government and the parliament, to accelerate the process of nomination and approval of the three remaining members of the National Electoral Commission.