Somalia: Puntland parliament debates Amendments to Electoral Law
GAROWE, Somalia Dec 7, 2014 (Garowe Online)-Lawmakers in Somalia’s Puntland parliament have on Sunday started debating amendments by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali’s administration to the state’s electoral law, Garowe Online reports.
Speaking from the podium in the parliament, lawmakers expressed concern over the amended bill and inclusion of articles that could ignite violence.
Some MPs echoed that parts of Puntland remain in the hands of Somaliland’s separatist administration while others unveiled that they are dissatisfied with the weakening of forthcoming Puntland Electoral commission (PEC) role.
“The Electoral (Amendment) law is similar to the bill prepared by former administration of Farole, except for some points,” said Puntland MP Said Abdi Samatar (Sur’ad), adding that the deprivation of PEC member of membership was called into question.
“The debate was today hotter ,and MPs removed the role of ministry of constitution in democratization in open vote,” he stated.
According to the document presented with MPs, members of Puntland Electoral Commission can’t lose membership on charges of embezzlement unlike the original law.
Puntland Lawmakers have been set to vote on the minor amendments to the electoral law over the coming days.
On July 14, 2013 former Puntland President Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed Farole had suspended Puntland’s first-ever democratic elections after what the government at the time described political spoilers incited ordinary residents against the government in Qardo, some 122km north of the capital, Garowe.
Threats emanating from piracy networks and Al Shabaab terror group are believed to have also sabotaged the long awaited democratic polls.
Ali, who was elected Puntland president on January 8 shifted balance towards ministry of constitution and Federal Affairs that is charged with overseeing the future work of PEC.
Electoral bill was introduced on January 2, 2011 ,and was subsequently approved by cabinet ministers.