Between 14 and 17 2015, the Somaliland Civil Society has conducted a participatory and inclusive discussions which most civil society organizations and National Network/Umbrella Organizations attended. Indeed, the CSOs have been studying and observing the reflections and reactions from different elections stakeholders over the decision of the Guurti to extend the term of the President and the Parliament.
Moreover, the CSOs have welcomed immensely the dialogue process announced by the Vice President of Somaliland, HE Abdirahman Ismail Saylici, which the opposition political parties have also accepted to pursue. The Somaliland CSOs believe that the said dialogue is the only route to resolve the current elections date dispute between the ruling and opposition parties; which is also based on Somaliland’s well-known past political traditions of compromise and consensus building.
However, after extensive discussions, observations and reference to the CSOs prior interventions on the electoral processes of the country, the CSOs came up with valuable suggestions and recommendations towards the current political disputes over the elections time framework.
First, it is worth mentioning that the CSOs have made much effort since the earlier months of 2014 and produced a number of position papers addressing and carrying a variety of recommendation on the way forward for the upcoming elections, notably on the following dates; 08-April – 2014, 16 September, 2014, 14 January 2015 and finally 7 May – 2015.
Furthermore, the CSOs have played a vital role in the implementation of the Dual Track approach for the simultaneous processes of voter and ID registrations. As such, the Somaliland CSOs stand to uphold and promote any approach that facilitates the free, fair and transparent elections to take place with the consent of the political actors and conformity with the electoral
laws. Considering the current situation: the Somaliland CSOs are presenting and advocating for the following recommendations:
First: The Somaliland CSOs are calling on the political parties and government to resolve their differences through dialogue, compromise, and consensus building, and where the national interest is guiding the pursuit of the talks.
Second: The CSOs are committed and organized to facilitate this dialogue which is scheduled for the May 20, believing that such dialogue can lead the parties to reach comprehensive agreement.
Third: The CSOs are recommending to the Government of Somaliland to continue the dialogue until some concrete outcomes are realised.
Fourth: The CSOs are very grateful for the long term support that international community gives to Somaliland both in the development and democratization processes. The CSOs are reiterating their appeal to the international community to continue their assistance and support based on our national priorities and development framework.
The CSOs are also advising to the international community to support the anticipated dialogue between political actors and consider the locally driving efforts underway. Finally; the CSOs are very confident and take pride that Somaliland will be able to resolve its internal issues since it has had sufficient experience in such political constrains.
Amina Farah Arshe
Vice Chair of SONSAF