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Somaliland’s Opposition Leader Warns Against Any Delay Of Presidential Elections

Issue 324
Front Page

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Norwegian Firm TGS Spent $10 Million On Geophysical Surveys In Somaliland Says Minerals Ministry Official

KULMIYE’s II Conference Succeeds

Fuad A. Adde Sacked For Accusing Riyale Of Mismanaging Donations For Sool

Somaliland Local Government Re-organisation through Presidential Decrees in an Election Year

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No Ethiopian soldiers in Puntland, says leader

Regional Affairs

Somaliland’s Opposition Leader Warns Against Any Delay Of Presidential Elections

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Special Report

International News

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HARGEYSA, April 5, 2008 – Leader of Somaliland’s major opposition party on Saturday warned the government against any more delaying of the presidential elections slotted for August 2008, noting that any such move would be faced with stiff resistance.

“Let me make it clear that there wouldn’t be any more deceptions and that patience is running thin and any effort to delay the Presidential election would be met with stiff resistance,” said Ahmed Mohammed Sillanyo in his opening speech at the convention of Kulmiye party prior to the elections.

Somaliland municipal and presidential elections were due to be held in May 2008 but the government delayed them to July and August respectively to give time for voter-registration requested by donor countries.

Sillanyo who narrowly lost the presidential election to current President Dahir Rayale did not elaborate what kind of stiff resistance his party would take.

“As stipulated in the constitution the term of the President and his vice-President would ends five years after its inauguration, which is May 16, 2008, from the day the President sworn into office. We emphasize that according to the Constitution the term can be extended only under emergency circumstances such as war, a circumstance that doesn’t exist today,” he said to more than 500 delegates of party members, supporters and other invited guests at Ambassador Hotel.

He made it clear that: “KULMIYE would neither entertain nor accept any election postponement. Period. If for any reason, the term expires before holding an election, it would be treated as vacant and the current Administration would cease and desist by default in which case an election would be deemed appropriate before chaos sets in. In our view, in the interim, transitional administration of a national coalition should be formed to hold elections immediately.”

Sillanyo described Rayale’s recent announcement of new regions and districts as an attempt to offset the exodus of many traditional supporters of the ruling party to Kulmiye, saying: “This came as a response to stem the droves of communities across the country that continue to join KULMIYE Party in their own volition. The most recent group that joined KULMIYE were “ The H/Awal agents of change” group. Just before that KULMIYE held welcoming ceremonies for three communities namely the “Garxajis”, “reer Nuur” and “Maxamed Case” both from Awdal who joined the party on their own volition as well after assessing and concluding that this Administration’s record is dismal.”

“The creation of new regions and districts without comprehensive consultations and without addressing the thorny issues that might pit one community against another and without addressing its fiscal implications might present unintended consequences and challenges,” he said.

Noting that Kulmiye was not against the creation of new regions and districts, Sillanyo said that his party only questioned the sensibility of announcing new ones at this sensitive election year while the other 20 districts or so announced more than five years ago had yet to be given official acceptance.

On the voter-registration issue, Sillanyo said that the presidential elections should not be held hostage to the voter registration issue, calling for the scraping of the voter registration process if it was going to delay the elections.

Pointing out that voter registration was necessary for fair and free elections, he said the registration process might take longer than expected which would in turn impact and delay the election itself.

He said that the holding of the elections on time was a priority and should not be postponed; noting that it was better to it is necessary to scrap the voter-registration then delay the elections.

“It is imperative that the elections (presidential and the local) be held on time without delay. Similarly if holding the local elections might delay the presidential election for some reason or the other, the presidential election should be given a priority. In short, delaying the holding of the Presidential election could have grave consequences for the stability of the country and the campaign towards recognition; hence it shouldn’t be delayed at all,” he concluded.

Source: Awdalnews Network

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