Somaliland Democratization process:  Political parties

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Somaliland Democratization process:  Political parties

By: Mohamed Ahmed


Transitional period of Somaliland political system has been started after 1991 when they declare succession from the republic of Somalia, today they build democratic country with multi-party system participate in elections and play an affective role for legislation, local governance and cabinets: so this young nation makes possible for system which most of African nations fail to make.Presidential debates initiating for the first time in history of Horn of Africa, it’s problematic to make such an events for greatest of African nations, since there are security issues or the candidates can’t phase to one another: showing your community what a leader is capable of is sort of attracting the opponents’ voters to define the policies towards national development.


Somaliland declared itself as an independent state in 1991, after the collapse of the dictatorial regime of Somalia in 1991. Its de-facto state fulfilled the conditions required by the state as enshrined in Montevideo Convention, succeeded in building peace and state at the bottom, transformed from traditional way of governance to multi-party system and democracy in the Horn of Africa.

We have been hearing for the past 10 years that Somaliland is a Democracy but most people have forgotten that there are conditions to a democracy.Until these conditions are fulfilled by any Political or Government Institution, the word “Democracy” shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence with Somaliland.

One of the most basic signposts of a democracy is citizen participation in government. Participation is the key role of citizens in a democracy. It is not only their right, but it is their duty. Citizen participation may take many forms including standing for election, voting in elections, becoming informed, debating issues, attending community or civic meetings, being members of private voluntary organizations, paying taxes, and even protesting. Participation builds a better democracy.

This helps provide the government with different viewpoints on issuesadditionally, a multi-party system provides voters with a choice of candidates, parties, and policies to vote for historically, when a country only has one party, the result has been a dictatorship the Political Parties.

Institutionalization of Party Machinery

In the present day Somaliland, the process of political party formation has started on the right footing. As part of the constitutional process, political party formation law has been passed. A transitional stage was introduced, where political organizations were expected to fulfill set of criteria articulated in the law, for them to be mandated to compete in the Local Council elections of 2002 .18.

However, this rigorous process of scrutinizing the transformation of political organizations into parties was not extended beyond their official registration as national political parties any guidelines and clear standards were set for the political parties to strive to uphold the democratic process within the party institution. There is no oversight mechanism in place for political parties to be the engines of democracy in Somaliland. Standard democratic norms and transparency of party practices to register their executive and central committees and review of the level of party membership and financial transparency have not been established. Follow up of holding their constitutionally mandated meetings and congresses and a national review of the political party strengths and weaknesses as far as advancing democracy in Somaliland is concerned are also lacking.

Political parties in the first local elections, when they were competing for attaining party status have all established infrastructure in all the regions. A few years later, instead of the local infrastructure extending towards the rural areas and resulting in strengthened grassroots activities of the political parties, their presence has rolled back towards the capital city and their regional branches started to close one after the other. This is tantamount to repeating the experience of the first democratic era in the 1960s, when political parties failed to establish roots among the community to build their own lasting support base and constituencies, which arguably facilitated the “bloodless” None of the three political parties in Somaliland has succeeded to build a local formal membership base. Without a subscribing membership, the institutionalization of the party structure, procedures and realization of its mission shall always remain abstract and of ad hoc nature.

The Registration process of the political associations and the confirmation of the new three national parties:

The “Forming Stage”

On 12 November 2011, the Registration Committee announced that applications for registration of political associations must be submitted within 60 days from that date. The deadline was set for 12 January 2012.

 “Norming Stage”

On 29 December 2011, the Committee announced that on the closing date of applications, the following 15 political associations have submitted their applications and having fulfilled the stage one requirements have been granted provisional registration: After these phases, it was passed to next step in campaigning and polling stage

The Campaigning and Polling Stage:

The Committee has since informed the National Electoral Commission of the final list of 6 political associations that, together with the current three political parties at the nationwide local elections that will be held throughout the country on a date to be set by the Electoral Commission under the Local District Councils (and Presidential) Elections Law 2002, as amended.

A few days before the closing date for the submission of candidates’ lists to the Electoral Commission, which was set for 14 September 2012, Nasiye Political Association decided it shall not be submitting candidates and will be withdrawing from the contest. UDUB Party, which was undergoing internal problems initially asked for a postponement of the deadline and then announced that it will not participate in the election. Since then prominent members of both Nasiye and UDUB joined the other associations/parties.

The nationwide local elections which will be held on 28 November 2012 will now be contested by 5 political associations (Wadani, Dalsan, Ummada, RAYS, and Xaqsoor) and two political parties (Kulmiye and UCID).

The Approval of the new National Parties Stage

When the elections are and the results are confirmed, the National Electoral Commission shall inform the Registration Committee shall announce the three associations or parties who have won the highest total number of votes which shall be declared as the new three new national parties accepted under Art. 9 of the Constitution.

As the Constitution allows only three national parties, the successful new three parties shall be recognized as the national parties for a period of 10 years on 26 December 2012, the Committee, having received the election results from the NEC announced that the three new parties shall be Kulmiye, Wadani, and UCID.Kulmiye was former opposition and leading party in Somaliland, Ucid another former opposition and Waddani which is new in the outdoor area of Somaliland politics this parties will be able to contest the national parliamentary and presidential elections during that period, as well as the next nationwide local elections.

These national parties were holding in their meetings and they choose it the presidential candidates for the election on 13 November 2017. They selected three presidential candidates in this election and they are Muse Bihi Abdi Kulmiye, Faisal Cali Hussein Ucid and Cabdiraxman Cabdilahi Wadani today Somaliland has completed the election campaign and the people of Somaliland are ready Somaliland people are ready to vote in the sixth election and fifth president of Somaliland, thus this political achievement has been under-processing for long time, and each president enhances there are many things that civil societies are waiting to develop, such as decrease poverty rate,  good quality education, improvement of justice system, affordable health care ect.


Academic for peace and development

National electoral commision