THT- The Somaliland National Elections Commission-NEC has initiated implementation of a presidential directive that decreed 29th November 2020 as start date for voter registration.
Accordingly NEC is sending SMS messages in Somali language that, translated, read
Quote”The National Electoral Commission (NEC) is informing citizens who have not previously registered to receive a voter registration card that voter registration will begin soon. Register as a citizen if you have not already unquote
The voter registration is part of preparedness for parliamentary and local councils elections slated sometimes in the second quarter of next year.
To jumpstart this function NEC conducted mock voter registration in three districts in September this year with the aim of testing capabilities for mass nationwide exercise.
While the NEC announcement targets citizens who were not registered during the last such exercise leading to the 2019 presidential elections, it is yet to be verified if those already registered will utilize their old cards.
Similarly the issue of those voters already registered but lost their cards also need to be addressed.
With the last registration exercise having occurred at a time when drought prevailed in most parts of the country thence large internal displacement resulting in failure to be included in the biometric data base of which Somaliland is the first country in the world to use , this time round all those eligible are expected to take part.
Though the polls have on several occasions been delayed for one reason or another an tripartite agreement by the three national political parties of ruling Kulmiye and opposition Wadani and UCID mediated by EU envoy Berlanga seems to stand.
With optimism that there shall be no more polls delays especially as relates to Parliament’s house of representatives whose curent members have been in office for a decade and half in an initial 2005 tenure of five years, the poignant issue now is women and minority clans representation.
This malady remains after the 15 years in legislators opted to throw out amendments to the Somaliland election law that would have resulted in a legal quota for women and minority clans at all levels of elective offices in the country.
With only one female MP, a couple councillors and zero for minority clans nationwide the only Avenue left open is the inter parties agreement that dictates facilitation of 6 female MPs each and one minority rep in each region.
All in all the firm hand of commitment to the polls by President Bihi accentuate by the new found cooperation among the political parties is a sure bet that the much
By: Yusuf M Hasan