Somaliland parties meet at the Chatham House
LONDON — The Chatham House has facilitated a meeting on Thursday between representatives of Somaliland’s three official political parties in order to ensure a stable election process takes place in the country.
Mr Faisal Elmi, Vice-Chair of UDUB Party in the UK, Mr Ibrahim Hussein, Vice-Chair of Kulmiye Party in the UK and Mrs Saynab Sahardiid, Chairwoman of UCID Party in the UK were invited on Thursday to provide an insight into the challenges which the region faces in the run-up to elections. The participants also included Mr Adam Jibril, Somaliland Envoy to the UK, Mr Ahmed Esse, UK Secretary for International Co-operation & Planning, UCID Party and Mr Mohamed Omar, Foreign Affairs Spokesman, KULMIYE Party.
The discussion was chaired by Mrs Sally Healy, Africa Programme Associate Fellow, Chatham House.
Despite the lack of international recognition, Chatham House considers Somaliland to be one of the “few secure and democratic territories of the Horn of Africa”.
The Chathan House expressed concerns about Somaliland’s stability and whether if the elections are not held on time it could cause further deterioration to region which is already the most volatile in Africa.
The panel faced questions ranging from if the election will be held on the proposed June 26th date to al-Shabab and other extremist organisations in the region, which could spoil the elections.
The three representatives have assured the presidential election will stay inline with the set timeline and there will not be any more postponements.
While addressing the panel, Mr Ibrahim Hussein of Kulmiye said the National Electoral Commission (NEC) should operate entirely independent.
“There must not be any orders from the government during the election date, all responsibilities should be given to the NEC to ensure compliance with voting procedures,” he said.
Mrs Saynab of UCID said she is worried the turnout for the election low might be lower than anticipated since many have crossed into neighbouring countries during the recent floods in the capital.
Even though the meeting was not a policy debate, however the three did get into a heated debate exchanging many attacks although they stayed united on the state’s sovereignty and maintaining peace.
The meeting lasted about an hour an a half.
Meanwhile, a delegation from the NEC led by Vice-Chair, Mr Ali-khadar Hassan Osman is due in London in the coming hours to obtain and ship out the official presidential elections’ ballot papers.
Chatham House, previously known as The Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a non-profit, non-governmental think tank that facilitates meetings and discussions in order to understand major international issues and current affairs.