The Somaliland National Electoral Commission (NEC), today, declared that it needed at least 9 months to hold the contested presidential election citing technical and economic reasons.
“It is not technically and financially possible to hold the presidential election scheduled for 13 November 2022 – a month before the mandated terms of the president and Vice president and that of the national political parties expire,” a communique the Commission released Saturday stated.
NEC justified the postponement as a period necessary for them to re-open the voters' registration activities and in order to secure the necessary financial expenses needed to hold the election.
“The Somaliland National Electoral Commission can only hold the presidential election in nine months' time starting from October 1ts,” the statement added.
Both opposition parties welcomed the NEC statement seeing in it a solution to the current stalemate as it is a reprieve lending them a breath of life adding 7 months more months to their term.
“We welcome the National Electoral Commission's declaration that the Presidential election could only be held after nine months. This brings the election-related standoff to an abrupt end,” Mohamed Jama Galal, Information Secretary of the Waddani party (above), stated.
On his part, the leader/chairman of UCID – other opposition political party, Faisal Ali Waraabe, also heartily welcomed the new timeline the Commission set for the presidential election.
“I am aggrieved that the President tactically disbanded the former electoral commission in order to engineer a term extension for himself,” Chairman Faisal (left) said, adding,“I (however) accept the none months that the national electoral commission set for the presidential elections”.
The NEC statement comes at a time a consensus has not been reached by key stakeholders on whether the political parties and presidential elections could be held simultaneously or separately.
The new extension, while automatically extending equal terms to the president and the three national political parties, also grants much-needed time for the political associations to prepare for elections – an issue that has yet to be adequately addressed. Nothing has been said yet about who is eligible for the upcoming elections since the political association would come of age mature enough to take part in them.
The extension brings as many questions and grounds for more contention as it seeks to answer.
None of the political associations' leaders has yet voiced views on the new election timeline that NEC set.
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