Urges parliamentarians to resolve legislative differences with care and Burao residents to maintain peace
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Government has disclosed its support of the planed national consultation conference to be jointly convene by the three Somaliland political parties with facilitation by the Academy for peace and Development-APD.
This was revealed by the minister of information, culture and national guidance Abdilahi Mohamed Dahir ‘U’kuse’ during a press briefing in his Hargeisa offices where he also disclosed state intentions to implement conference outcomes while urging members of parliament to resolve inter-party differences amicably and Residents of Burao to maintain peace.
On the demonstrations in Burao that saw an innocent citizen die from a police bullet and numerous others injured the information minister who extended his condolences to the family of the deceased and wishes of speedy recovery to the injured also commended the subsequent intervention of elders and senior administration officials that saw a fast return to normalcy in the Toghdeer regional capital.
The Burao riots that resulted in not only death and injuries but massive loss to property as well were induced by the transfer to no new post of the Toghdeer regional police boss Major Ahmed Ilka’ase.
“While commending speedy return to normalcy I urge restrain on the residents of Burao thence maintain peace” said U’kuse.
Stating that Somaliland was currently enjoying tranquility, U’kuse informed that this, serenity, has facilitated the government’s concentration on diverse development programs that have seen an improvement in citizen’s communal livelihoods in all parts of the country.
Said he, “it is a discernible fact that the development agenda of the elected government of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo has enhanced living standards through improved infrastructures and ease of public services access”
On the issue of the ongoing stand-off in parliament as a result of reshuffles made to house committee memberships by Speaker Abdirahman Irro that has sparked fallouts within the ruling and opposition parties Minister U’kuse who reiterated that Somaliland is reckoned with solving difficult issues amicably urged the parliamentarians to end acrimonies quickly.
The reconstituted sub-committees that were endorsed by a majority when the house reconvened last Thursday also saw the two deputy speakers term the endorsement as illegal and unconstitutional after abstaining from the house for purposes of submitting to the supreme court a request for nullification of the new house sub-committees.
The action by the two deputies Bashe Mohamed Farah and Ali Yusuf Mohamed that saw the chief justice acquiesce by declaring the endorsement of the reconstituted committees as illegal went a notch higher after parliament declared the chief justice out of and without mandate on issues of the house.
Speaker Irro has subsequently summoned the Chief Justice to parliament for grilling by members, presumably on where he, Chief Justice, got the authority to countermand decisions in which elected members of parliament passed through voting.
“The administration which acknowledges the right of political parties to hold consultations pertaining to diverse national issues especially on national security and democratization process among others shall not only fully support proposed conference by political parties but give it our-administration’s full support” said U’kuse.
Informing that the government shall also work closely with Academy for Peace and Development to ensure successful convention and outcome of the national consultative conference minister U’kuse said the state will do this in respect to the inter-party decision that nominated by the Academy as dialogue Moderator
Since announcement of the national dialogue conference which was originally fronted by the National Consultation and Rectification Forum-NCRF but later taken over by the two opposition political parties of UCID and Wadani, political tensions have been on the rise between proponents and opposers of the conference.
The tensions were cooled and things went back to normal following the inter-party national consultation conference joint caucus agreement entered by Ruling Kulmiye and opposition political parties of UCID and Wadani last Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 that included the nomination of the APD as Facilitator and agenda to include discussion on forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections slated for 2015, the country’s quest for international recognition as a sovereign country and concerted, State, political parties campaign internationally.
As the nation took a huge sigh of relief from lengthily and acrimonious debates on the merits and demerits of the national consultative symposium and with the NCRF extending congratulations on the inter-parties joint agreement, in came two prolonged shockers from the presidential spokesperson and chairman of the ruling party respectively .
On the 22nd of December the Chairman of the Ruling Kulmiye party Musa Bihi who was part and parcel of the tripartite agreement by the three national political parties to jointly convene the national consultative conference under the facilitation of the Academy for peace made a drastic about turn through an announcement that nothing of the sort (national conference) was agreed.
Speaking to the press in his party’s Hargeisa offices Musa Bihi said the only arrangements made included discussion on the way forward as pertains to the timely occurrence of the presidential and parliamentary elections slated for 2015.
Later the same day the presidential Spokesperson Ahmed Suleiman Duhul informed that it is only the head of state who is constitutionally mandated to convene a national consultative symposium but only when there is/are matters of national importance that require a broader stakeholder forum.
“Though national consultation is an important aspect of our nation, the country is enjoying unprecedented serenity thus the inappropriateness of the proposed national consultation conference” said Duhul in an audio message.
According to Duhul Political parties can hold relevant discussions whether they are on elections or such matters at any time but currently the state is of the view that requirements efforts should be concentrated on issues that are geared towards enhancing sustainable livelihoods among Somaliland citizens.
The inter-party agreement divergent views from the two, Bihi and Duhul were an echo of similar ones earlier in the day by the Attorney General Suleiman Idle who informed that the three national political parties that include Ruling Kulmiye have no legal rights to hold the proposed National Consultation conference.
“The ruling Kulmiye party is legally a political body that has no legal basis to represent the government whose composition is made up of the president, vice president and the council of ministers” the Attorney General told the Somali service of the voice of America In an interview on the 22nd of December.
The statement by Abdilahi U’kuse the information minister who also doubles as official spokesperson to the government of Somaliland appears to have negated sentiments expressed by Bihi, Idle and Duhul and thus ameliorating fears of renewed acrimonies within the widening political divide in the country by squarely placing the administration as part and parcel of the proposed National Consultation Conference.