Tension continues to escalate over the registration of voters in the Somaliland region after opposition leaders warned that security could deteriorate if the general elections slated to take place next year are delayed. Somaliland electoral commission holds mock election New political party registration delays Somaliland elections Somaliland holds mock elections to test electoral process. In a joint statement released August 11th, the opposition coalition — comprising the Justice and Welfare Party (UCID), the Waddani Party and the Consultation Forum, a group of independent politicians — accused the government of wilfully delaying the voter registration exercise. They said the ruling party was deliberately trying to stonewall the process and delay the parliamentary and presidential elections slated for mid-2015 in an attempt to extend the term of the Kulmiye government led by President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo. Peace is conditional upon democracy, and democracy is threatened any time elections are postponed or exceed their timeline, the group said.
The opposition coalition called on the government to promptly replace the members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the independent body tasked with carrying out the election, and revise rules to select new members by September 2014 in order to provide the commission adequate time to prepare for the 2015 election.
The seven members of the NEC, whose term expires this October, were appointed in 2009, with three members selected by former President Dahir Riyale Kahin, two members selected by Somaliland’s House of Elders, and the UCID and Kulmiye parties each selecting one member.
“If the elections cannot be held in their allocated time, it will be the government’s fault whose responsibility it is to hold elections in a timely manner,” the opposition parties said, also proposing that a transitional administration be formed in the event elections are not held on time.