SEIT announces dates for Somaliland senatorial polls after dispute ended

Somalia: SEIT announces dates for Somaliland senatorial polls after dispute ended

Abdi Hashi [L] PM Roble [C] and DPM Guled [R] hold the letter of candidate list for Somaliland seats [Photo: OPM]

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The much anticipated Somaliland’s senatorial polls will take place by the end of this month, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has announced, following an unprecedented agreement between two protagonists that took place on Tuesday.

Outgoing Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi and Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Guled agreed on the candidates for the elections, which saw the former spared from the competition. He will serve in the 11th parliament following the agreement.

Hashi and Gulaid have been embroiled in an unending tussle over the control of elections in the breakaway region, which is given 11 slots in the federal senate. They agreed after weeks of intervention from PM Roble.

“I commend the Speaker of the Upper House, Senator Abdi Hashi and the DPM H.E Khadar Guled for their joint submission to me today of the list of candidates for the Upper House of Parliament for Somalia’s Northern Regions [Somaliland] whose election is slated to begin next week,” Roble said in a tweet.

After receiving the list of the candidates, the State Election Implementation Team [SIET] released the timetable for the senate election which marks Sep 30 as the Election Day. This now effectively ends a protracted standoff on Somalia’s elections.

In the table, SIET indicates that the registration of candidates starts on September 25th. Each of the male candidates in the race will be required to part with $20,000 for registration while female candidates will pay half of the sum.

After this, the elections will start on September 28th and will run for three consecutive days. Already, a number of stakeholders have opposed the move to spare Speaker Abdi Hashi competition, arguing that the move waters down democratic gains.

Somaliland’s senate members’ elections will see an intense contest as the state’s political heavyweights faceoff each other. Salah Jama, the current federal constitutional minister will face former Chief of Justice, Ibrahim Idle. Prof Samatar faces the former Education Secretary of Wadani Party Prof. Alabari.

The region broke away from Somalia in 1991 but the federal government has always given its slots to the bicameral legislature. But the polls usually take place in Mogadishu instead of Hargeisa, further indicating a strained relationship between Somalia and Somaliland.

By the end of this month, Somalia would have elected the 54 senators who will join the yet-to-be-elected 275 MPs in electing the president of the federal government. Outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo is defending his seat.


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