Somalia to Iron Out Gedo, Somaliland Polls Bumps

In spite of an agreement stating elections for Somaliland are to be held in Mogadishu, some analysts say the decision is far from fully agreed

Somalia is rushing against time to resolve two critical issues on its electoral plan with polls scheduled to begin on July 25.

Officials in Mogadishu were this week reconciling two ‘camps’ wrangling over who should lead the electoral teams for the northern regions of Somaliland.

The ‘two’ camps are aligned to Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Gulaid and Speaker of the Senate Abdi Hashi respectively after the two differed on who should chair the respective State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team [SIEIT] for Somaliland.

Both Gulaid and Hashi are the senior-most Somaliland officials in the Federal Government. Somaliland claimed (unrecognised) independence from Somalia since 1993.

As Hargeisa, the Somaliland capital, has refused anything to do with elections in Somalia, the election of representatives from the region often happens in Mogadishu, arranged by politicians, natives of the region.

After surprise elections on Monday, an 11-member SIET team for Somaliland split into two, with one side voting for Khadar Harir Hussein as chairman and Ajib Hussein Samale as deputy.

The seven comprised of four members appointed by Gulaid and three others appointed by the office of Prime Minister Mohamud Hussein Roble.

Hours later, four members of the SIET who did not attend the polls decided to elect their own chairman, Sulayman Aidid Osman, and Abdishakur Abib Hayir as deputy.

But under the majoritarian voting style for leaders of electoral teams, analysts indicated Gulaid’s team will carry the day for having more members voting than the group led by Hashi.