On 15-16th September2014, civil society organizations that are committed to Somaliland’s democratization process held roundtable discussions on issues of voter and National ID registration. The civil society also met with the President of the Republic of Somaliland HE.Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo on 17th Sept and did the same with the opposition political parties and ruling party on 18th Sept 2014.
During these meetings, the civil society analytically raised the issues of the voter and National ID registration to address disagreements between the Government and opposition political parties. Foremost, civil society of Somaliland has fully supported on the implementation of the nationwide National ID registration and on the other hand, civil society strongly appealed and recommended to the President of Somaliland to implement of the dual track provisions agreed by the Government, Political parties and National Electoral Commission (NEC)in 2013.
Believing that free, fair, transparent and timely elections promote peaceful power transfers, mutual accountability and viability of democratic state institutions, civil society calls for the amendment of draft law 37/2007 on voter and National ID registration to ensure the provisions of the law are consistent with the “dual track approach” agreed between the government, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and political parties in the oversight of the civil society and international election stakeholders.
Civil society is concerned about any attempts to integrate the two processes without consensus of the election stakeholders and recommends concurrent voter and ID registrations. As a result, civil society advises the government and opposition parties to avoid any measures which can amplify current ambiguities and lead to the prioritization of one process over another; the civil society remains committed to maximizing their efforts facilitate dialogue between the two sides to reach agreement and rectify their past actions.
Somaliland civil society issued a position paper in April -2014 in support of the implementation of the dual track approaches on voter and National ID registration. The civil society fully supports the options selected by the stakeholders– parallel processes of registration each led by its mandated institution – Voter Registration for NEC and Civil Registration for MOI.
Somaliland civil society organizations are nonpartisan, non-political and impartial institutions and have been working on Somaliland democratization processes since 2002, through domestic elections observation missions, policy advocacy initiatives including the establishment of a Somaliland Civil Society Election Forum (SCISEF) and encouraging the creation comprehensive electoral framework.
Civil Society Policy Position on Voter Registration process
- All election stakeholders should pursue timely discourses and consensus building on elections issues. They should also explore the possibilities to rationalize some of the anticipated challenges in convenient time to overcome it and pursue peaceful legitimate elections.
- Government and Opposition parties should refrain from any political and legal measures that could cause delay, confusion or inconsistency in the voter registration process, recognizing that this voter registration is fundamental aspect of free, fair and transparent elections.
- Implementing the existing political understanding framework – the dual track approach – between the Government, Political parties and NEC is an opportunity to accelerate the process of the implementation.
- Drawing and agreeing election calendar or roadmap is necessary in order to sort out some of the issues concerned of the electoral framework preparation and implementations.
- Civil society is calling for the political actors to avoid any inflammatory language that may spoil the process of the electoral systems.6.
- Civil society is encouraging His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo to fast track the nomination of new Commission members in order to facilitate the legitimate voter registration interventions and timely planning of the elections.
- Civil society is also encouraging the current dialogue between political parties and government which partially was facilitated by the civil society of Somaliland.
Organized and coordinated by SONSAF in collaboration APD
8. Institute for Peace & Conflict
23. NAFIS NETWORK