The meeting came after a direct appeal to all parties by the Somaliland President, Muse Bihi Abdi, and was held in order to find a way forward through the political impasse pertaining to the scheduled parliamentary and local council elections slated for December, 12th, 2019.
The main stumbling block between the parties is the composition of the National Elections Commission, in which, Waddani, Somaliland’s main opposition party had refused to work with as it is currently constituted. The sitting commission’s mandate expires prior to the scheduled elections, and Waddani had argued for a new commission to be sworn in.
The other two political parties, Kulmiye and UCID responded with a joint proposal to constitute a new expanded commission on August 1st, which will work side by side with current commission to hold the prospective parliamentary and local elections. This proposal was rejected by Waddani, but could be revived as a result of these talks.
The Somaliland National Elecfions Commission recently held a briefing to showcase it’s state of readiness for the elections and plans to hold a trail voter registration drive in the near future to test the technologies to be issued in the elections, including the pioneering iris scanners that were used in the last presidential elections in 2017.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, all the spokespersons for the parties, declared their satisfaction with the manner the talks were conducted and express their intentions to hold further discussions.
All three parties have committed to the democratic process in Somaliland and are willing to participate in the upcoming elections, providing individual party concerns are resolved.
Ali Mohamed Abokor