Somaliland: Roads Development Bill Passed Hastily

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By: SDN

Somalilandsun -Law makers in Somaliland’s House of Representatives has voted on Tuesday in favor of a fiercely contested Roads bill which critics say will encourage embezzlement of public funds and provide cover for government corruption. The Roads development bill, which introduces new road taxation, passed with 58 votes in favor to 8 against, with 13 abstention and two refrains. The minister of Presidency, Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan presented the bill to the house for debate in last week and has elicited lengthily and sometimes acrimonious debates in the House.

Under the bill, a new tax will be leveraged to the public transportation and livestock export in order to generate funds to develop roads.

The bill has met fierce opposition from the national transporters association and the opposition, who attributed their demand for rejection to the anticipated increase in costs that shall ultimately be borne by the common man.

On Sunday national transporters association has threatened that they will paralyze public movement by withdrawing their services nationwide if the house of representative passes the roads bill.

Similarly, the two national opposition political parties of UCID and WADDANI has issued yesterday a call for protest demonstrations against the ratification of the bill which the repeatedly termed the roads bill as inappropriate.

The rally against the bill called by opposition parties did not took place today as a result of interior minister’s rejection of their request for a peaceful rally.

During the week long debate of the bill by members of the house has resulted a fist fight between opposition legislators and ruling party legislators. On Wednesday 18 Sep Fist-fighting broke out in the hosue when Waddani opposition MP Ibrahim Mahdi Buba and ruling party Kulmiye MP Ahmed Abdi Kijandhe put each other in headlocks and wrestled on the floor of the legislature. Waddani opposition Party legislators, who oppose the approval of the Roads Act, resorted to fist fight in a bid to stave off a vote on the bill.

After the approval of the controversial bill, opposition leaders voiced their anger of legislator’s decision to approve the bill.

The third deputy chairman of Justice and Welfare party UCID Ali Guray has urged the public to protest against the approved bill.

SDN Hargeisa

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