4th January 2015- Human Rights Centre expresses its deep concern on recently approved Voter Registration Act which will delay election scheduled on June 2015. On 23rd December 2014 the president signed the bill into law after the Parliament approved.
Article 7 (2) and article 26 (2) of the Act oblige the National Electoral Commission to publicize six months before the Election Day a final list of the people registered to vote. The bill will come into force within thirty days after the date it is published on Official Gazette as stated in article 75 of the constitution. Therefore, it is evident that the National Electoral Commission does not have a time to conclude voter registration six months prior the Election Day. So far (January 2015) voter registration is not yet done while the presidential and House of Representatives elections are scheduled on June 2015.
The bill divided the parliamentarians and triggered deep conflict that has escalated into violent demonstrations that occurred in Somaliland in last year. It was approved later after the House of Elders (Guurti) intervened and reconciled the conflicting parties.
“During the Guurti interventions the Act lost sight of the civil society. The draft became hardly available after the president signed because it is not yet promulgated at Gazette. We were expecting the Act to pave the way for smooth elections. Unfortunately, the Act is tailored to postpone the election”, says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre. “The members of the House of Representatives were elected 9 years ago on five years term. Their tenure has been routinely extended by the Guurti.’ He adds.
Human Rights Centre calls on the government to propose amendment of the articles that are obstacle to holding election on time. The upcoming election scheduled on June 2015 shall take place on time without delay.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Human Rights Center
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