Somaliland: Committee on the formation of more political parties returns with YES verdict
HARGEISA—After three months of research and interviews with Somaliland citizens in all parts of the country, the committee that President Ahmed Mohamud Silanyo appointed for the task of formation of more political parties has handed in their result back to the president with a YES verdict.
The statement from the Committee to study the formation of more political parties in the country said” after conducting 1769 surveys from all the regions of the country, the committee found that the majority of Somaliland citizens are in favorite of opening the political parties”. Committee goes on to add that from understanding the surveys, debates and group discussion that they had with the civil society it showed that there is a vast need for more political parties and therefore the will of the people should be followed by allowing the more political parties to join the political arena.
It was in 2002 when Somaliland’s current three political parties system was formed after more than a dozen parties registered and took place. The legislation stated that in order for a party to advance to the next stage it must receive minimum 20 percent of the popular vote from four of Somaliland’s six regions. Six parties met that criteria and went into a battle to further minimize the number of parties. Constitution was agreed on that only the three parties with the most votes will be approved and the electoral commission announced the current three parties UDUB, UCID and Kulmiye.
Even though Somaliland has three political parties and viable democratic institutions, many groups from current cabinet minister of the incumbent government and ordinary citizens have called for more political parties. During the well contested election campaigned, President Silanyo promised if he gets elected that his government will offer state support for those wishing to form new political parties while inviting blacklisted parties to join his Kulmiye party in the mean time. Current Finance Minister Eng. Mohamed Hashi Elmi and current Interior Minister Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose and their Qaran party were one such party that took the invitation from Kulmiye.
Somaliland combines traditional and western institutions to form its own distinctive system that has worked for the country in the last twenty years. Many have recognized this unique system which is the backbone of its stability and its abilities to resolve internal disputes thus allowing it to named Africa’s best kept secret.