There has been a long awaiting meeting between Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SNEC) and Somaliland Political parties. The agenda of the meeting was the SNEC to share the outcome of the recent nationwide study on the effects of the droughts on the registered voters. It was very profound idea that SNEC presented its plan on voter cards distribution and presidential election in very explicit manner. SNEC declared that the schedule is as presented and are prepared to act. However, the parallel presentation with election schedule was a study conducted throughout the country on the effects of drought to Somaliland community. SNEC declared that drought affected 57% of the population whereby some villages were empted and its people evacuated either to other region in Somaliland or across the border. SNEC impudently shared their sympathy towards the drought affected people in parties of Somaliland. “Though everything is ready from us we are kind to our community who most of them are absent from their respected bases since droughts moved to other locations” SNEC.
The announcement from SNEC resembled a bitter choice to one of the political parties (Kulmiye) as their wish was to hear the date of election as the chairman announced after the meeting.
At the beginning of 2016 similar droughts affected some parties of Somaliland and SNEC accepted proposal from the regime on the suspension of voter registrations so that hands are united for community survival. At that time one of the political parties (Wadani) refused the postponement of registration as they justified it is a new lay down to extend the elections. However, the SNEC took its decision and suspended the registration giving the priority to weak community rather than one party interest according to their perspective. Community welcomed the decision and considered a caring one.
The recent announcement of the SNEC is similar to yesterday announcement. The difference is the only parties for and against today and yesterday scenarios. Yet, the decision is dilemma one for the SNEC either they will take decision to survive the weak community affected by drought or will take decision to satisfy one party alone.
What could come out in both decisions? In my perspective the following points could come out:
If the SNEC take the decision to suspend the election
- The trust of the population to SNEC could increase as they will consider it as fair and flexible decision.
- Political parties will realize that decisions of incumbent SNEC is strong with evidence based
- Donors consider the SNEC as commission favoring for their communities always rather than fulfilling external interventions.
If the SNEC takes the decision to hold the election on schedule
- The regime and its party will be closely working with SNEC making them possible to hold the election on time even if the donors delay financial support
- The outcome of the election could be early anticipated as only 43% of the community will be voting because of the remaining 57% didn’t take voter cards as they were away during cards distribution for drought movement reasons.
It is dilemma decision to Somaliland National Electoral Commission either to support the survival of the weak communities or to satisfy the interest of small group.
Mohamoud S. Adad
Researcher, Burao Somaliland