By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Only one-woman remains a member in the country’s parliament.
The National Election Commission-NEC has submitted names of persons to replace the four who were defrocked of their membership in parliament’s lower house of representatives.
While commemorating its seventh year anniversary last week the house of representatives defrocked Messrs.’ Ahmed Mohammed Ali, Mahdi Haji Hassan Sugal, Mohammed Ali Jibril and Lady Ikran Haji Daud of their membership in the August house.
The legislators chaired by Deputy Speaker Hon. Bashe Mohammed attributed the purging to parliamentary by-laws which automatically dismisses members who skip, absent from or are absent without permission or official leave (AWOL) for or in at least 20 seating sessions.
The purging of the four that include one of the only two women members in the house has been formalized after NEC submitted the names of replacements that also sees Hon Baar Saeed remain the only women MP since her former compatriot Hon was replaced by a member of the opposite gender.
The NEC submitted and now under perusal names of replacements by the house are
1. Abdirahman Mohamed Jama to replace Ikran Haji Daud (Kulmiye party-Awdal Region)
2. Abdiqadir Jibril Tukale to replace Mahdi Haji Hassan Sugal (UDUB party Awdal Region)
3. Yasin Ali to replace Mohammed Ali Jibril (UCID party- Sanaag region) &
4. Fuad Sh Muhumed Abale to replace Ahmed Mohammed Ali (UCID party – Sahil Region
While this is the first time for parliament to defrock one of its own and purge them from the august house’s list of members, it will also be most likely the last due to recent amendments to elections laws.
The current house, which was elected on a party list, that gave membership of the house to those at the top of the party list, changed the election law thus first past the post wins membership.
What the campaigners of this amendments never considered is that with the new law a by-election will be necessited by the death, defrocking etc. of a member. Though by-elections are the norm elsewhere Somaliland’s legislators are not elected on a constituency basis but regional one.
Without specific constituencies with specific representatives, the current ease enjoyed NEC as pertains replacement of members of parliament and local councils, whereby the member next to the disposed one in the election list is the automatic replacements translates to by-elections.
The question is can we hold by-elections to fill the post of one member when we do not have specific constituencies? Does it mean that constituencies are in the making?
What of replacement for the local council members who will be elected in the 28th November elections, which will be held devoid of specific wards of representation, how will their replacements be effected since they are to be elected on a first past the post rule?