We, the CSOs that issued this statement, who were closely monitoring the election dispute in Somaliland for the last one year, firstly, we are welcoming:
⮚ The ongoing process for the registration of the new political associations and the preparation for the direct election of the new political associations and the national parties.
⮚ The completion for the members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and their leadership election, which is a step forward.
We are very concerned that the prolonged election dispute in Somaliland, is leading the country into an instability, constitutional crisis, and uncertainty, because of the following reasons.
⮚ The article 6 (2) of the National Election Law1 requires that the NEC to announce the election date before 120 days, and the president must issue a presidential decree within 15 days. Now, the scheduled presidential election date is November 13, 2022 (which is less than 53 days), the Guurti election is scheduled on December 12th, 2022 (which is less than 82 days), and the direct election of the political parties to happen before December 26, 2022 (which is less than 96 days). Until now, the National Electoral Commission did not announce any election date as article 6(2) of the election
⮚ The article 43 of the National Election Law requires the NEC to conduct a voter registration, on every election. So far, it was not conducted.
⮚ There are no political agreements between the election stakeholders, overcoming the current election challenges and disputes. All mediation efforts, between the ruling party and the opposition, failed.
All these points are revealing that both technically and legally, it is very difficult to conduct the scheduled elections within the remaining time frame. As a CSOs, we are concerned:
⮚ If there are no immediate political solutions between the election stakeholders; within 100 days the legitimate term of these offices will expire, the president, the Guurti, and the three National Political Parties. Also, within five months the interim registration of the new political associations will expire. Somaliland is facing a constitutional crisis if there are no immediate political solutions.
⮚ The increase for the detentions of the journalists, opposition leaders and media houses. Thesuspension of the CBA Television was the latest action against the freedom of expression.
⮚ Members of the Guurti are already started to advocate to do extension by the coming month of October.
⮚ We call on the president to take the lead of solving the current election dispute.
⮚ We call on the political parties and other election stakeholders to work closely with new members of the National Electoral Commission to prepare the time frame and election roadmap. We are calling on to respect article 22 of the National Election Law and to make sure the independence of the NEC Staff.
⮚ We call on the Guurti House to follow article 6 (4) of the National Election Law, and to consult with the National Electoral Commission, as required by the law.
⮚ We call on the government of Somaliland, to act in accordance with the constitution and respect the freedom of the media. We call on the government to reverse its decision of suspending the CBA Television.
⮚ Finally, we call on the International Partners and the friends of Somaliland who are interested in, the Somaliland democratization process, to engage the Somaliland political leaders and help them to reach an agreement with the current prolonged election dispute as they did in September of 2009.