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Cablegate: Somalia - Resignations Pave Way for New Somaliland

VZCZCXYZ0008
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #2099 2781438
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051438Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1226
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002099

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM SOCI PINR SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - RESIGNATIONS PAVE WAY FOR NEW SOMALILAND
NATIONAL ELECTION COMMISSION

REF: NAIROBI 2066

1. (SBU) Summary: Over the weekend of October 2, all of the
members of the disputed Somaliland National Election
Commission (NEC) resigned, paving the way for the appointment
of a new, hopefully less controversial NEC that could go some
way in preparing the ground for the much-postponed
presidential elections. Kulmiye opposition party Chairman
Ahmed Silanyo in an October 5 telephone conversation from
Hargeisa, was cautiously optimistic that progress on
elections could be made. He thought that the Guurti (the
Council of Elders) could vote on the seven new NEC members by
as early as October 7. Silanyo's optimism was tempered by
memories of recent past failures to move the election process
forward, however. End summary.

2. (SBU) In an October 5 telephone conversation from
Hargeisa, Somaliland, Kulimiye opposition party Chairman
Ahmed Silanyo confirmed media accounts that all members of
the National Election Commission (NEC) had in fact resigned
during the weekend of October 2. Silanyo alleged that the
stage had been set for their resignations when President
Riyale, opposition UCID Chairman Faisal Ali Warabe, and he
had agreed October 3 on a framework roadmap to the elections.
The roadmap included a new NEC, adjustments to the voter
registration list, cooperation between the new NEC and
Somaliland's political parties, and NGO involvement in the
political process.

3. (SBU) Cascading NEC member resignations accompanied and
followed the agreement among the three political leaders.
Silanyo alleged that each nominating entity (the President,
the Guurti, Silanyo, and Warabe) had identified their new
candidates for the NEC. He said they would be presented to
the Guurti and possibly voted on within the next two days.
4. (SBU) While acknowledging that the current outward harmony
among the three parties could end at any moment, Silanyo was
nevertheless cautiously optimistic that the process would go
forward. He thought that international pressure and a
belated realization by all parties that Somaliland's
precarious stability could end if the stand-off continued
would force the parties to continue to negotiate in good
faith.

5. (SBU) Comment: The end of the compromised NEC and
Silanyo's cautious optimism are good news, although many
difficult compromises remain to be made by all of the players
and it is far from certain that the current good will can be
sustained.
HOZA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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