HARGEISA, Somaliland —The thoroughly discredited and moribund National Elections Commission (NEC) has called for the postponement of parliamentary and local elections scheduled for December 12th, 2019.
Speaking to the gathered media at a press conference, today, Thursday, August 8th, the chair of commission, Abdilkadir Iman Warsame, stated “that there will not be enough time to conduct a fair and free elections this year”.
This stunning declaration by the NEC, just as the Somaliland political parties had reached an historic agreement with regard to the composition of the NEC, comes as a blow to Somaliland’s democratic process.
The main Somaliland opposition party, Waddani, which had steadfastly refused to work with the current NEC, appears to have been vindicated by this announcement. Even though, the NEC, recently held a mock registration drive and had declared that all the equipment for the elections was currently in place, it is quite staggering that the calls for another delay should come from current commission.
Recently, the European Union envoy, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez, paid a lengthy visit to Somaliland in order to facilitate the holding of the parliamentary and local elections. However, this unacceptable announcement by the NEC makes all his sterling efforts seem worthless.
The Somaliland House of Representative is currently debating a motion to increase the number of members in the current national elections commission from seven to nine, and with the President currently out of the country on pilgrimage to the Hajj, the making of this announcement on the last day of the working week is sinister, to say the least.
There is no doubt that there is something rotten in the current NEC, and this needs to be investigated and those who may have committed malfeasances be brought to justice.
The people of Somaliland will not accept another a delay, let alone, a postponement of the parliamentary and local elections.
Ali Mohamed Abokor