According to the rules and regulations by the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), registration of political parties in Somalia is two- fold-temporary and official.
So far, seven political parties have received certificates of temporary registration and three more are expected to be given the greenlight today making 10 the political parties provisionally recognised in the country in 50 years.
In order to acquire temporary registration, one must present the name of the party and symbol not currently in use and written constitution that sets out the objectives of the party with relevant clauses for settling internal political party disputes. A fee of $500 is also required in addition to a signed code of conduct pledging to observe the application of the Political Party Law, and other laws of the country.
A temporarily registered political party cannot participate in any election. The political parties’ manual developed from the Political Parties Act 2015 stipulates that provisionally registered parties must apply for official registration five months before an election.
To be eligible, besides meeting the temporary registration threshold, parties must present a declaration of party membership signed by 10,000 registered voters in at least 9 of the 18 regions that existed before 1991, who are not supporters of another party. The members must be Somali citizens of 18 years and above.
Unlike in temporary registration where one needs to pay $500 or 10 million Somali shillings, those who intend to officially register their party must part with $1000 or an equivalent of 20 million Somali shillings.
The regulations prohibit all government employees, judges, embassy officials and judges and members of the disciplined forces from holding office in political parties or becoming members.
Government employees are also prohibited from participating in political party activities including promoting political party platforms, attending political party meetings, rallies and publicly demonstrating bias towards or in opposition of a political party verbally or in writing.
MERGERS AND ALLIANCES
Political parties can merge to form one party upon which the constituting parties shall stand dissolved. Elected members who do not agree with the new political party, the regulations note, shall lose their seats and the registrar of political parties shall call for a by-election within 30 days.
The regulations also provide for formation alliances which shall be made up of two or more parties.