The Somaliland National Electoral Commission (NEC), today, released a road map for elections to decide the next three national parties and that of who is to be at the top helm following the end of the term of the incumbent President and his deputy.
The commission, drawing on the National Constitution and other national instruments, including the political parties and associations law, set dates for the two elections sequencing them as it fit.
“In accordance with Article 5, Para 3 (J), [of the National Electoral Commission law], elections to decide the three national parties who will be awarded the status of national parties for the next ten years will be held on 28 December 2023. The National Electoral Commission will complete all outstanding technical issues before the set date,” a NEC statement published today stated.
“The Presidential and Vice Presidential elections are scheduled to be conducted on 13 November 2024 – a month before the expiry of the present term – based on the extension to the presidential term the Guurti (House of Elders) of the Somaliland Parliament made on Resolution GG/JSL/G-03/10/2022 dated 01/10/2022,” the statement added.
The release of the statement follows a decision of the constitutional court earlier in the month returning the privilege of scheduling of the elections to NEC.
This brings to an end uncertainties shrouding a set timetable for the two contentious elections and the accusations of the former two national opposition parties whose legal mandate ended on 28 December 2022. Parties’ leaders and their supporters had been threatening the government and the stability of the country if no dates were set for the elections. They also demanded that they and only they along with the ruling national party should be considered for the elections despite the fact that the constitutional tern of all three expired and that 11 more political associations have now been poised to get to the next stage since late 2022 running for a position among the next three to pass on to national parties.
The opposition parties, it is emerging, did not only wish for a date to be set but that they wanted to remain on the stage alone to run against the ruling party.
The two representatives of UCID and Waddani in the Commission held press conferences turning their back on the Commission they belonged to obviously aligning themselves to their respective parties’ standpoints thus betraying the spirit of democratic decisions and the oath under which they were supposed to serve the whole nation once they swore to it.
If the opposition parties insist on setting their own agenda regarding the elections or their sequencing – which is not included on their plate at all, they stand to lose credibility and much more of their support base.