Somaliland: Roads Bill Elicit Call for Protest Demonstrations and Threats of Nationwide Public Transport Paralysis

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Somaliland Parliament set for domonstrations on 24th Sept

“We shall paralyze public movement by withdrawing our services nationwide if the house of representative passes the roads bill on 24th Sept” Transporters association

“We call upon all citizens to join demonstrations outside parliament on 24th September in protest against new road tax approval” UCID & Wadani parties

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Members of the House of Representatives go to bed in trepidation of outcome of their session to be held in Somaliland’s parliament in Hargeisa where they are set to approve or reject on the 24th September the Road Bill that continues to accumulate controversy

The HonTransporters Association leaders warn legislatorsourable member’s trepidations are as the results of a call to protest demonstrations by the two national opposition parties of UCID and Wadani against proposed new road taxation and Demands by the national transporters association that the roads bill be rejected by the house.

“We shall paralyze public movement by withdrawing our services nationwide if the house of representative passes the roads bill on 24th Sept” said the executive committee of the Somaliland Transporters association during a press conference in Hargeisa where they attributed their demand for rejection to the anticipated increase in costs that shall ultimately be borne by the common man.

On the other hand the two national opposition political parties of UCID and Wadani which have repeatedly termed the roads bill as inappropriate issued a call for protest demonstrations in front of parliament house in Hargeisa on the morning of 24th September thus deter Members of parliament from apprWadani and UCID party leaders announce demonstrations in Hargeisaoving the act.

“We call upon all citizens to join demonstrations outside parliament on 24th September in protest against new road tax approval” said the UCID & Wadani parties during a press conference in Hargeisa after presenting the ministry of interior with a request for license to hold public demonstrations on the 24th this month outside parliament buildings.

Presented to the house for debate by the presidency minister Hirsi Haji Ali the roads bill in question which if approved shall see a new road tax imposition has elicited lengthily and sometimes acrimonious debates that have even ensued in armed combat between two members of the house.

MPs Bubaa and Kijande who are both honourable members representing Hargeisa constituents though from different parties namely Wadani and Kulmiye respectively, extended the roads bill debate from oral deliberations to physical combat during a house session recently.

While it is not yet clear why the two honourables decided to settle their differences Dishonourably the house of representatives which is Somaliland’s lower chamber of parliament is deeply divided on the bill and the confrontation seems to be going for extension with the threats to paralyze public transports as well as protests outside the August house.

MP Kijande L gets an Iron Mike from MP Bubaa during road bill debate confrontationsFor now, with battle stations drawn and rearing for combat only time, 24th Sept 2013, will tell which side the roads bill dice falls.

But if the lackluster performance and lack of feelings towards public sentiments displayed by most sitting members of the house of representatives is anything to go by the outcome is obvious.

Meanwhile sources indicate that the police force is in a state of readiness for any eventualities with all off duty officers recalled and placed on standby to deter the planned demonstrations which are now illegal the interior ministry having rejected the request to grant a permit requested by the two opposition parties.

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