Two opposition parties in Somalia’s separatist republic of Somaliland issued a joint statement Sunday warning the government not to delay the presidential election again, Radio Garowe reports.
The joint statement from the only opposition parties in Somaliland, Kulmiye and UCID, stated that the presidential election has been “delayed four times” and that the opposition has “no confidence” in the Somaliland election commission.
“[Election delays] has created a political dispute and lack of confidence for Somaliland democratic progress by worrying [world] governments, donors and the Somaliland public in general,” the statement read.
The statement warned that another election delay would be “sole responsibility” of the election commission and the current administration.
Further, the opposition parties recommended that the Somaliland election commission be “expanded by four new members,” while calling for “changing four members of political mediation committee.”
The opposition parties called on Somaliland’s ruling UDUB party to “immediately present its case regarding the election commission.”
Somaliland’s political crisis began in May 2008 when incumbent President Dahir Riyale’s five-year term in office was extended by an additional year by the upper house of parliament, the House of Guurti. Opposition parties condemned the extension and called it unconstitutional.
A year later, President Riyale received a second term extension after the House of Guurti to allowed him to remain in office until the presidential elections slated for the end 2009 are held.
Somaliland is located in northwestern Somalia and unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the country in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally yet.