By M.A. Egge
The National Elections Commission has at last set the dates for holding the long overdue political parties and presidential elections which has been anticipated by the member of the public for quite a while.
Following the NEC’s decision on Monday 17th July, the declaration of the date of holding the political parties elections will now be the 26th December 2023.
The existing three political parties namely Kulmiye, Ucid, and Waddani are therefore eligible to contest together with 10 newly verified political organizations for the slot of the top three positions who will thus be the bonafide official political parties to name the contestants vying for the presidency as per the constitution.
The elections for the presidency have been set and slated for the 13 of November 2024.
The decisions of the declaration of the body charged with the electioneering processes in the country went as follows:-
“The National Elections Commission in order to complete the technical activities of the Somaliland Elections in 2023, requested a legal interpretation on July 4, 2023, from the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court of JSL.
The Somaliland National Electoral Commission thus:-
After it was studied; The Constitutional Court verdict Ref. MS/GDD/03/2023, dated 10/07/2023 in response to the Legal Interpretation requested by the National Elections Commission, which states in its 2nd paragraph is as follows; The National Electoral Commission is instructed to determine the time of the elections as it is their authority according to Article 16 of the General Elections Act, Act Ir. 91/2020 paragraph 1,
When it studied; The decision to extend the term of office of the President and Vice President of JSL, with the reference GG/JSL/G 03/10/2022, dated 01/10/2022, by which the Senate of the Republic of Somaliland extended their term for 24 months from 13/12/2022 to 13/12/2024.
When it reflected upon; Article 83, paragraph 24 of the JSL Constitution, which provides for the election of the President and the Vice President, to be held one month before the end of the expiry of their term of office,
When considered; Article 6 Paragraph 1 of the General Law on Elections and Voter Registration, Law no. 91/2020, which states that the Commission will determine the dates for the elections in accordance with the Constitution and the Law, based on a month before the end of the term of the President, Vice President and the House of Representatives, that will be officially determined by the President Degree.
And given that:-
Verdict Ref. MSD/DDL/01/2022, dated 16/January/2022, issued by the Somaliland Constitutional Court as per Article 3 of its resolution, the Constitutional Court overruled that the election of political parties/organizations be replaced by the election of local councils, and the election of political parties/organizations being a direct one conducted by the National Elections Commission JSL.
Reference document GDUS/96/22, dated December 26, 2022, issued by the Committee for Registration of Associations and Approval of National Associations, regarding the end of the tenure of the three official political parties which were officially communicated to them hence KULMIYE, UCID, and WADDANI), were notified that the validity period of their tenure ends on December 26, 2022.
The reference letter GDUS/83/22 dated November 21, 2022, issued by the Committee for Registration of Political Organizations and Approval of National political parties for the purpose of submitting a list of Organizations and Parties that have met the requirements for participation in the three national party elections.
Article 62 paragraph 1 of the General Law on Elections and Voter Registration, Law No. 91/2020, states that “Persons contesting for the election of the President and the Vice President must belong to a registered or valid official political party, and explained”.
Legislative Councils, the President of the Republic, Political Parties and Organizations, International partners and local Civil Society Organizations.
The importance of elections is for the realization of the constitutional rights of the nation’s citizens to participate in political activities and have the right to elect or be elected as stated in Article 22 of the Somaliland Constitution, clauses 14ad and 24ad,
That the Multi-Party System is the basis of the political system of the Republic of Somaliland, and the number of emerging political parties is maximum of three (3) parties (the top three) as mentioned in article 9d clauses 18d and 2d of the Constitution.
And given the specification of: Article 16 of the General Law on Elections and Voter Registration, Law No. 91/2020, which empowers the Commission to determine the time of elections, and submit it to the President to issue a decree.
The Somaliland National Electoral Commission has decided:-
- That the National Party Election be held on December 28, 2023. In order to find three recognized and valid parties, and be given a (10) year party certificate in accordance with Article 5 paragraph 3 letter (i), with the National Elections Commission and finalizing any technical matters in advance.
2 That the election of the President and the Vice President will be held one month before the end of the term of office of the President and the Vice President as mentioned in Article 83 paragraph 223d of the Somaliland Constitution, on November 13, 2024, as per the extension of tenure made by the Senate with reference number GG/JSL/G-03/10/2022, dated 01/10/2022.
Therefore, the Somaliland National Electoral Commission requests the Legislative Assemblies to finalize the draft laws for the elections. On the other hand, it requests all other Stakeholders of the Somaliland Elections to work with them to facilitate the technicalities involved in the conduct of these elections so that there should be no delay in the elections and quagmires thereafter”.
Mr. Musa Hassan Yousuf.