Somaliland: MPs Take Debate out of Parliament

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MP Saeed Elmi

By M.A. Egge

HARGEISA: (Somalilandsun):- A handful of MPs defended the agreements that the government entered with multinational companies as being binding treaties.

The MPs Hon. S.M. Elmi, Ahmed Diriye Na’na, Ahmed A. Dirie Sangole and M.A. Mohammed told a press conference they called that the state was legally bound to do any agreements with prospecting or investiture foreign corporations.

The MPs were in advent throwing barbs on their own parliament which has demanded that the government table all agreements entered by the companies as per constitution, particularly citing those that concerned oil explorations.

Said Hon. Said Elmi, “Our constitution tells us that the government is responsible for exploitation of natural resources for the cause of development,” he said and added, “hence the parliament is responsible for vetting any monumental engagements that has an impact on the national economy”.

The MPs were somehow contradictory since the oil economics is indeed a monumental one, and so to deny it parliamentary vetting only defeats “their own words”.

They took a swipe at the opposition for questioning such agreements while at the same time they made a public appeal that the parliament should not impede foreign investments .

They explicitly admitted that the government has/had entered many agreements without being vetted before and took issue with the one that concerned energy.

Instead of clarifying the issue to the public and defending the government in intelligent manner they only contradicted themselves only to constrict the same administration they try to defend by adding on to the confusion.

They claimed that the two articles of law that give both the government and the parliament powers over such agreements have not been translated well to the populace.

Ironically, they too, never quoted the articles nor substantiated the main argument which is; Is it wrongful for the parliament vet such papers?; or, Is it a case of power struggle on who has the authority to allow final green-light for foreign investment in the country?

At the same time they gave the impression that it was either;-

1. Their majority colleagues in the house were out to block national development.

2. They were pessimistic about arguing their points at the right place and in the right time through the expected ways.

3. They were looking for public appeal.

4. Wrong for the parliament to peruse over foreign treaties.

While support is fully given to the government by the populaces on issues concerning investments hence have witnessed varieties of amendments and formulations of numerous policies conducive to foreign investments, the MPs depicted seek the public to fight their house battles.

So many laws and articles in our constitution are contradicting each other. The outcry of the four MPs is unclear since for the best part of the last eight years they had never bothered to do their expected work.

Despite the motive intended, they have only put the government in a fix, something that the country cannot afford. In other words they giving the members of the public that they had something to hide, again something the people and country of Somaliland can ill-afford.

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