Doubts Grow Over Somaliland Elections

Hargeisa, 22 Jul 2009 (Somalilandpress) — Somaliland’s biggest donors have warned the country explicitly or implicitly that aid assistance for the election may be cut or ended unless there is a satisfactory outcome to the post-election crisis including the replacement of at least two members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

The UK, the biggest donor, Sweden, the second biggest donor, and number of other Western nations are currently in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to deliberate whether or not to release the funding for the Presidential election scheduled for 27 September.

The donors came under pressure after President Rayale failed to remove NEC chairman, Mr Jama Mohamoud, and his deputy, Mr Ali Bikalo, who had been accused of corruption and believe to be “inept and incompetent” for the job.

The British ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr Norman Ling, a Norwigian delegation and Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, Ms Anna Brandt are expected to travel to the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa today to deliver their decision to President Rayale, leaders of the opposition parties and the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament.
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Many suspect President Rayale of stirring up political crisis and unrests in the young democratic state after failing to fulfill election premises for the third time.  Recent tribal conflicts in the West and the arrest of independent journalists may have also left donors furious and alienated.

Now, the donors are reluctant to give, having in the past made mistakes of funding African states that never deliver the promises.

Donors expressed the importance of ensuring their money is put to good use and that Western taxpayers have right to know where their money is spent. The dilemma for donors is that cuts in aid certainly first hit those they’re intended to help: democratization in Somaliland and possibly stability.

When they meet later today, the donors will demand the removal of the two commissioners; who they feel can not be trusted with their money but most analysts believe President Rayale, would properly refuse and insist his government will fund 80 percent of the election.

More Somalilanders are getting frustrated with the current regime and the continues Presidential term extensions.

Source: Somalilandpress

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