Somaliland Joint Parliamentary & Local Councils Elections 2021: The Promises and Priorities
On May 31st, 2021, Somaliland finally succeeded in conducting the long-overdue elections for the House of Representatives (HoR) and Local councils (LC) This was seen as a remarkable achievement for Somaliland’s democratization process. The only downside to the elections was the inclusivity gap with the noted absence of women legislators and a decreased representation for Eastern Sool and Sanaag communities. Owing to promises made during the campaign trail the newly elected representatives and local council members will have to work hard to deliver on their promises and establish priority areas amid highly raised public expectations. The House of Representatives, in particular, is required to pursue further meaningful and inclusive participation in public decision-making processes through the legislation it passes. This greatly necessitates structural changes for appropriate policy legislation to be initiated.
This Policy Brief is an examination of the priority areas for the new House of Representatives as well as the Local Councils. It presents some of the urgent matters for the HoR and LCs to attend in efforts to deliver on campaign promises made while meeting the high expectations of the electorate. The recently elected House of Representatives needs to legislate on matters such as fighting corruption, increasing transparency and accountability in public institutions, promoting inclusion and participation, and overall improving the economic outlook of the country. On the other hand, Local Councils need to prioritize urban planning and development, institute administrative reforms, increase local governments’ revenue streams, among others.