Somali party says poll body ‘lost neutrality’, urges resignation of NIEC officials

The opposition Wadajir Party has announced that it has withdrwan its confidence from the National Independent Electoral Commission and called on its chairperson, Halima Yarey, and members of the commission to resign for their failure to achieve their mandate which was to hold a one person one vote election by the end of President Farmajo’s term in office.

In a statement on its Twitter handle, the party said that the real reason for the commission’s announcement that it cannot hold a one person one vote election as scheduled is to realise term extension for the current federal government and parliament.

“The Somali presidency, the leadership of the House of the People and the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), whose terms of office are all about to end, failed in their respective duties,appear to have agreed on term extension for all of them, to cover up their failure in executing [their] mandates,” the party said in its statement.

The party accused the electoral commission and the federal government of “deliberately sidelining and excluding” the Upper House of Parliament, regional states and opposition political parties regarding discussions on the electoral process.

“The tripartite alliance, brought together by the desire to remain in office, have diverted the power and resources of the government towards fulfiling their own goals. They have deliberately sidelined and excluded political stakeholders, top among them the Upper House of Parliament, Federal Member States and political parties,” the party added in its statement.

The party called on the rsignaton of the chairperson and members of the NIEC, saying they are no longer neutral and have lost the confidence of the Somali people.

“The commission has lost its neutrality, which would allow it to consult all political stakeholders in equal terms. It has also lost the confidence and trust of the Somali people and political stakeholders. [For] the resons listed above, the Wadajir Party hereby calls on NIEC to resign and urges for an urgent gathering of political stakeholders to negotiate an agreed upon peaceful and timely electoral process,” the Wadajir party’s statement concluded.