Somaliland National Electoral Commission
The new consolidated Elections Law covering the Electoral Commission and the elections of the President, the House of Representatives and the nation-wide local councils, as well as voter registration titled, in Somali, Xeerka Doorashooyinka iyo Diiwaangelinta Cod-bixiyaasha, Xeer Lr. 19/2020 has come into force on its gazetting on 19 October 2020.
A copy of the Law in an A4 format is also available at this link: Xeerka Doorashooyinka 2020 .
No English translation of the new 2020 Consolidated Election Law is currently available and for a quick overview of the contents of the Law, we set out here in Somali and English the Arrangements of the Articles of the 2020 Law for quick reference.
The provisions relating to the Electoral Commission are primarily set out in Chapter 2, Articles 12 to 26 of the new Law. This page will continue to cover legal developments relating to the Commission.
The Somaliland National Electoral Commission consists of seven members, and in line with Article 11(2) of the 2001 Election Law, three members are nominated by the President of the Republic, two are nominated by the House of Elders, and the remaining two were nominated by the registered “opposition” political parties. The nominations are then confirmed by the House of Representatives. The term of office of the Commission is 5 years, which according to Article 11(1)(c) begins “the date the House of Representatives approves of its appointment”.
THE CURRENT 2020 ELECTORAL COMMISSION MEMBERS (2019 - to date)
1. Abdirashid Mohamoud Ali (Riyo-raac), Chairman.
2. Mustafe Mohamed Dahir (Dhawal), Vice Chair.
3. Abdifatah Ibrahim Hassan.
4. Kaltun Sh. Hassan Abdi.
5. Abdurrahman Mohamed Ismail (Dixood)
6. Mohamoud Dahir Jama.
7. AbdiKarim Yasin Sh. Dalmar
Previous Electoral Commissions
The First Electoral Commission:
For the list of the first Somaliland Electoral Commission members - from 2002 to 2007 - click here. This Commission succeeded in holding the first series of democratic elections in Somaliland since 1969 which started with local elections in December in 2002, followed by presidential election in 2003 and parliamentary (House of Representatives) election in 2005. Their work was summarised in an independent report by the International Crisis Group as follows:
“The first NEC did a remarkable job under difficult circumstances and with no initial experience. Over its six-year mandate, it held three relatively successful elections, despite strong pressure from all parties and widespread attempts to manipulate the voting. It was able to do so because it had an able chairman and dedicated members and tried to work through consensus. In large part because they successfully resisted manipulation by political and clan leaders, the commissioners were unceremoniously let go after their mandate ended on 20 January 2007.” – International Crisis Group Briefing N°67, 7 December 2009, page 5
Although the 5 year term of the first Somaliland National Electoral Commission (NEC), appointed in 2002, came to an end on 21 January 2007, the new Commission was not sworn into office until September 2007. Sadly, the statutory procedure for appointment of commissioners does not allow for staggered system of the appointment of the seven members and so during the long period of delays and controversy, no commissioners were in post to carry on the essential business of voter registration and preparations for the elections.
The Second Electoral Commission:
On 2 June 2007, the House of Representatives confirmed the second Electoral Commission appointments:
- Mr Jama Mohamed Egeh (61 votes for, 5 abstaining).
- Mr Ahmed Mohamed Haji Dahir (58 for, 1 against, 7 abstaining).
- Mr Hirsi Haji Ali Hassan (54 for, 3 against, 9 abstaining). (Resigned on 6 May 2008) and replaced by Mr Ali Mohamad Abdillahi, whose appointment was confirmed by the House of Representatives on 20 May 2008, by a vote of 58 for and none against, with no absentions.
- Mr Mohamed Ismail Mohamed (52 for, 14 abstaining).
- Mr Mohamed Yusuf Ahmed (43 for, 4 against, 22 abstaining).
The Final appointments confirmed on 3 September 2007:
- Mr Ismail Muse Nur (63 votes for, none against and no abstentions).
- Mr Hassan Mohamed Omer (62 votes for, none against and no abstentions).
This Commission’s role came to an end on 5 October 2009 when they all resigned. For some of the the background issues that led to the resignation, see this ICG Briefing No 67 of 7 December 2009.
The Third Electoral Commission:
On 24 October 2009, the House of Representatives approved with (a vote of 65 for and none against or abstaining) the following appointees:
1. Mohamed Ahmed Hirsi.
2. Essa Yusuf Mohamed
3. Farah Abib Adan.
4. Rabi Shariif Cabdi Maxamed.
5. Abdirahman Mohamed Ismail.
6. Ali-Khadar Hassan Osman
7. Abdifatah Ibrahim Hassan.
On 1 November 2010, the Commission appointed Essa Yusuf Mohamed, as Chairman, and Ali-Khadar Hassan Osman, as Deputy Chairman. Click here for more details about the commissioners.
The Fourth Electoral Commission:
After a delay in the consideration of the appointment of the new NEC because of internal disputes at the House of Representatives (HoR) which were finally sorted out, the HoR approved, on 29 November 2014, the following as the new NEC members. The vote was 69 for and none against or abstaining for the last 6 members and 68 for the first member, the difference being accounted by the fact that one more member of the House arrived later than the vote for the first member as each member was voted on separately. The seven new NEC members are:
1. Mr Said Ali Muse
2. Mr Mohamed Jama Mohamed
3. Ms Kaltun Sh. Hassan Abdi
4. Mr Mohamoud Hassan Wais
5. Mr Abdulqadir Iman Warsame
6. Mr Abdirahaman Osman Aadan (Sagal)
7. Mr. Abdifatah Ibrahim Warsame
For more details of the Commission’s work, please visit its website: National Electoral Commission
The details of Somaliland Electoral Laws. Elections & Observers’ Reports, are available at this main page: Electoral Laws