Oodweyne News - Latest Somali News Update

Why Colonel Muse Biixi Does Not Want To Dismiss National Electoral Commission?

Elections are just one aspect of what  democracy demands, but the way they are conducted in most of the time becomes fairy tales with a lengthy and sometimes contentious twist that gives an indication of how likely our country is to face chaos and armed clashes.
Election has a space for lost-and-found possibilities. What is lost remains lost and what is found remains vital and functional, particularly when the victor becomes a constitutive part of the whole definition of goodness.
In Somaliland what separates the winners from the losers is not how one is capable to walk his political programme and show the way by doing rather than saying, but it is how one reacts to each twist of human manipulation for tribal motives.
The secret to power seeking process always stems from slogans condemning deniability of what is lawful. It was yesterday when Muse Biixi was claiming that NEC selection process was unfair. Why Muse Biixi is now refusing to dismiss the present commissioners? Doesn’t his refusal to disband NEC mean that what sounded unfair to Muse Biixi when he was not in power sounds now to him fair and fine when he rose to power?  Why whoever becomes Somaliland president tries to prolong his presidential term through deception and delays?
Today among others, the toughest political impasse for Somaliland is the deadlock between Wadani party and the current administration over the proposal placed by Wadani party to dismiss the present National Electoral Commission.
What caused the conflict to create bickering and fighting is exactly not how complicated the issue is but which route of conflict resolution the opposition and the current administration chose to take.
For more than ten months Muse Biixi has refused to budge, not even troubled himself to look carefully at what steps Somaliland constitution obliges him to take when complaints against NEC come from a political party, with officials from both sides several weeks ago conceding they’d reached a stalemate.
Worse than this is the recent joint communique aired through TV by Kulmiye and its substation, Ucid, to hold elections on 2019 if Wadani party insists on the removal of the existing NEC, which is a move, if attempted, will lead Somaliland into armed clashes.
Kulmiye’s rebuttal towards NEC dismissal stems from their belief that NEC has succeeded in holding free and fair presidential and that commissioners are clean from partiality, and thus Wadani’s allegation against NEC is baseless, and therefore there is no evidence to disband the commissioners.
Wadani’s proposal to dissolve NEC stems from several basic points: Number oñe, the NEC selection process is out of fairness and balance with the demands of democracy, and therefore all political parties must have equal representation (equal commissioners) in the commission. Number two, the present NEC is not trustful and far from being neutral since there were many administrative flaws and vote irregularities in 2017 presidential election.
The senario looking ahead then is: Where the recipe that will fit this impasse come from? Most people from all walks of life always emphasise concession as the best basic principle to resolve Somaliland political conflicts, without assumping that concession is not a basic principle from the view of the legal point.
The principal question before the election in 2019 will be quite different: Stability and Trust: these two issues will make the trend and tension. Who can promise or/and provide a stable fiveyear government for Somaliland groping through an economic and confidence crisis? Who can trust Kulmiye’s current administration coupled with NEC that is not neutral to play judges and jurors that cannot determine fair verdict on election results? And which institution has the better set of policies to restore Somaliland’s faith in itself?
The NEC is not elected by the people. It is appointed by the political parties, the house of Elders and the head of the nation’s executive branch. The NEC is primarily assigned to ensure that the rules around all aspects of elections are as clear and simple as possible and that the interests of voters are always put first.
NEC is more important in our election process than anything else because it is NEC that finally manages the election process and reports to the people of Somaliland on election results.
The fault lines of the 2017 presidential election are still in everyone’s memory so trustful NEC is crucial for the coming elections. The sight of dishonesty and partiality in the last election sent very awful signals and episodic sentiment to Wadani party to reach immediate resolve to revoke trust from NEC.
The commissioners not only became suspects when Wadani party accused them of partiality, but when they failed to assess how this issue will impact the country and decided not to lose “cash saving” opportunity, a stand that shows the evidence that NEC profession has become an income-protection policy.
It is very grave for the national psyche if the only way Somalilanders can trust the electoral process is when the ballots are printed in a foreign country. It is rather naïve because nobody really knows how many ballots are printed abroad.
NEC came and said they have printed 700,000 ballots and everyone is happy because it was done in Dubai, or somewhere in Europe. What if they printed more? How would anyone know? One good example is the ballot book that got out of NEC custody in last election. The evidence-based allegation that disproves  NEC’s trustworthy is the failure to report the lost of the election ballot book. How could the commission make the public believe that many other ballot books were never been given Kulmiye?
The constitution is and was not designed to allow the ruling party to control directions of change in its favor. The constitution is not a holy Quran —  a revelation that cannot be even modified, leave alone it be replaced. Rather any consitutiin is subject to removal, replacement, and amendment.
By: Jama Falaag
jamafalaag@gmail.com
       Hargeisa, Somaliland