According to members of Somaliland’s Election Commission who spoke on background to Somaliland Chronicle, the conflict among the commissioners that arose from the replacement of the Chairman on April 27th is far from resolved and the Executive Branch and the President, in particular, are not keen on resolving the conflict.
Sources add that President Bihi who has met with election commissioners has tasked the Presidential legal counsel to look into the matter. Mr. Abdirashid Mohamoud Ali (Riyo-raac), who is contesting his removal as the chairman, stated that he has asked the President to convene an investigative committee for irreconcilable differences. The meeting of President Bihi and members of the Election commission is confirmed by the press statement issued by the Ministry of Information and National Guidance.
Besides the ongoing kerfuffle over the chairmanship, the Auditor General’s office has concluded a two-month-long financial audit in which results were certified and financial documents returned, has launched a fresh investigation into the finances of the Election Commission on the same day as the commissioners voted to oust Mr. Abdirashid Mohamoud Ali (Riyo-raac).
It is unclear if the relaunch of the financial audit by the Auditor General’s office and the dispute among the commissioners are related.
The ongoing dispute among the commissioners has affected the day-to-day operation of the election commission, where core staff has picked sides. This is according to current employees of the election commission who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Conflicting messages from President Bihi and his ruling party of Kulmiye on new party registration and the possibility that the existing parties cannot participate in the upcoming elections have already cast a shadow over the 2022 Presidential elections slated in November 2022.