The Center for Policy Analysis (CPA) closely observes the political developments and setbacks as well as the democratization process of Somaliland. CPA is cognizant of the current political tension regarding a conflict over the fate of the members of the National Electoral Commission and the upcoming parliamentary and local governments elections, in which the three political parties failed to resolve.
Considering the challenges facing Somaliland which has been self-reliant unrecognized country dealing with political, economic and security threats, it is of paramount importance the political leadership of Somaliland to take into account the broader surroundings.
Therefore, the political parties need to take into account the following issues:
1. Somaliland has been a democratic country in the last 16 years. The power has been in the hands of the people. The democracy of Somaliland has created a political puzzle for the many undemocratic countries of the region, who look from a distance the progress Somaliland has made without international recognition. Hence the internal political activities of Somaliland have a regional dimension.
2. The Horn of Africa is undergoing a massive change ignited by the sudden appointment of Abiy Ahmed as the prime minister of Ethiopia. Ahmed introduced a reform based on Pan Africanism, forgiveness and economic integration in the region and in the continent of Africa. His initiative resulted in the unforeseen dialogue and cooperation of the leaders of Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, who were in decades in direct and proxy wars. Therefore, Somaliland has to rethink and come up with a new strategy to deal with the change and to foster internal cohesion.
3. The democratization of Somaliland has attracted friends who do support the electoral process and implement developmental projects. Such support is a golden opportunity for the country to realize achievements and gain international recognition. Nevertheless, if the political parties do not consider and invest augmentation of the political system, particularly the democratic values and principles, the Somaliland friends may get disappointed, and as a result weaken the foreign policy, the economy and solitary of the people.
4. The security and political stability facilitated the attraction of international investment such as the DP World investment in Berbera Port, oil exploration activities and the Somaliland Development Fund. If political stability based on democracy and security decline, it will lead to bad governance, poverty and fragmentation of the society. Therefore, the politicians, the leaders of the political parties and the national leadership has to prioritize political stability and security.
CPA urges all the leaders of the political parties and the national leadership to broaden their scope of analysis and make a decision on the controversial issues of the National Electoral Commission and the upcoming elections. At the same, they need to be mindful the negative consequences of a failure to reach meaningful agreement. Failure to resolve disagreement could harm the economy, and create international isolation, and internal friction that can damage national cohesion. CPA suggests the following recommendations:
1. The political parties should have a meaningful discussion on their differences on the current members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the composition and procedure of selection of future NEC members.
2. The President should take leadership and active role in finding out a solution for the seat allocation of the House of Representatives, and conduct inclusive and consultative process;
3. All political parties should stop the divisive and contentious approach, and instead act towards cooperation and solidarity;
4. The elections of the House of Representatives and Local Councils should take place within 2019, and all obstacles should be removed upon an agreement reached by the relevant stakeholders;
5. The institutions should duly fulfil their constitutional responsibilities for the sake of the national interest and should refrain from delay tactics.
Address: Red Sea village, I/K district, Hargeisa, Somaliland.