Traditional leaders, women groups, civil society organizations and scholars from minority communities in Hargeisa on Tuesday urged the parliament of Somaliland to approve the quotas already endorsed by Council of Minister on 7th June 2018. They also suggested the number of seats allocated for the minorities at the House of Representatives to be increased from three to six while at the same time they requested allocation of at least fourteen seats for minorities in the Grade A districts of Somaliland namely Borama, Gabiley, Hargeisa, Berbera, Burao, Erigavo and Laasaanood.
Speaking at the closing session of a two-day workshop held in Hargeisa by DYDO, a local organization that advocates for the rights of minority communities, Chief Elmi Egah Salsal said the only way his community could get representation in Somaliland’s decision-making platforms is through allocation of quotas.
“We learned from the past elections that the minority communities would not be able to secure parliamentary seats without quota due to accumulated circumstances,” Chief Salal said.
Among the participants of the meeting were Minister of Agricultural Development Honorable Ahmed Muumin Seed and Deputy Minister of National Planning and Development Honorable Hussein Ibrahim Buuni.
“The Government is committed to support the quotas for minorities in the upcoming election. That is why we are here today” Minister Muumin said.
At the conclusion, a 15-member caucus comprising traditional leaders of minority groups, CSOs and MPs from the House of Representative have been appointed. The political parties were also called on to join the caucus to fast track the campaign for the adoption of the minority quotas.
Here is a press release from the community leaders and scholars of minority clans:
DAAMI YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
The press release on minority quota of the parliament and local council elections
Today, 13 November 2018, we have concluded a two-day meeting on the rights of minority communities towards the upcoming elections, organized by Daami Youth Development Organization (DYDO) with the support of UNSOM Human Rights & Protection Group.
The meeting focused on the political participation of minority groups in the country’s decision-making bodies. Upon the completion of the meeting, representatives from the minority communities issued the following declaration:
On behalf of minority communities, we express our gratitude to the civil society organizations, MPs, ministers and people from other organizations who participated in this meeting. We also thank the President of Somaliland His Excellency Muse Bihi Abdi and the Council of Ministers for their approval of minority’s quota on 7th June 2018 for the next parliament election (three seats in the House of representatives). Based on this progress, we call on:
- To increase the number of quota seats allocated to the minorities from the suggested three seats to six seats. This means one seat will be allocated for minority community from each of the six regions of Somaliland.
- To encourage the parliament (Representatives & Elders) to adopt the quota (Six seats) of minority communities and help them prevent any potential disapproval as happened in 2007 when the Parliament rejected the quotas of the minorities by claiming that the quota is contrary to Article 8 of Somaliland Constitution which addresses equality of citizens. We believe that the Parliament misinterpreted the Article and the rejection of the minorities’ quota was not preproperate. We learned from the past elections that the minority communities would not be able to secure parliamentary seats without quota due to accumulated circumstances.
- To make amendments on the electoral laws and increase the proposed seats of the minority quota of the House of Representatives from three to six seats and at least 14 seats at the local councils to secure a quota for minorities.
- We call on the two Houses of the Parliament to avoid rejecting quotas for the minorities like they did in the past.
- We urge the two Houses of the Parliament to recognize the right to political participation of the minority communities and join the caucus we established to advocate the adoption of minority quotas.
- We call on the three national political parties (KULMIYE, WADDANI and UCID) to add their voice the adoption of quota allocated for minorities and avoid any hindrance or challenges that may undermine the quota.
- We urge the national political parties to join the caucus we created to lobby the adoption and implementation of minority quotas.
- We call on the three national parties to allocate some of the leadership positions in their respective parties for minority figures to enhance the right to political participation of the minorities.
We recommend the allocation of the seats for minority quotas in the parliament and local councilors to be as follows:
- House of Representatives
We call on a quota consisting of six seats in the House of Representatives, one from each of the six regions of Somaliland as detailed below:
- Awdal region, one member of parliament (MP)
- Maroodijeeh region, one member of parliament (MP)
- Sahil region, one member of parliament (MP)
- Togdheer region, one member of parliament (MP)
- Sool region, one member of parliament (MP)
- Sanaag region, one member of parliament (MP)
- House of Elders
We also request six seats to be allocated from the House of Elders in case of direct election. However, if the elders are to be selected through indirect election, we request a minimum of three seats to be allocated for minority communities.
- Local Councils
Based on the experience gained from the past elections, we believe allocation of quota for minorities is necessary in the upcoming local councilors election as well. There are 23 election districts in Somaliland. However, elections currently take place in 21 districts. Out of these 21 districts, we suggest the quota for minorities to be as follows:
- Minimum of fourteen seats should be allocated for minorities in the districts of Grade A level namely Borama, Gabiley, Hargeisa, Berbera, Burao, Erigavo and Laasaanood.
In conclusion, we call on the United Nations and the wider international community that support Somaliland democratization process to play significant role in the approval of quotas for minorities which is being tabled at the House of Representatives.
Names of the elders and scholars issued the press release
- Mohamoud Abdi Ismail, Executive Director, DYDO —————————-
- Sultan Nasir Sultan Abdi————————————————————–
- Aqil Hasan Bihi————————————————————————-
- Aqil Elmi Egah Salsal—————————————————————–
- Aqil Abdi Muse Muhumed————————————————————
- Aqil Awil Yusuf Ismail—————————————————————-
- Aqil Mohamed Abdi Ali—————————————————————
- Aqil Dahir Mohamud Kahin———————————————————-
- Aqil Ismail Mohamud Aw farah—————————————————–
- Muhyadin Mohamed Abdi (lawyer)————————————————-
- Mohamed Jama Ibrahim (Lawyer)—————————————————
- Khadar Abdi Ismail (scholar)———————————————————
- Deeq Burale Adan———————————————————————-
- Shaqale Dahir Mohamed————————————————————-
- Abdirizaq Hussein Harir—————————————————————
- Jamila Mohamed Siciid (Woman’s group) —————————————–
- Ayan Abdirahman Osman (Woman’s group) ————————————–
- Ido Abdi Muse (Woman’s group) —————————————————-
- Amina Abdi Muse (Woman’s group) ———————————————–Thanks