Somaliland: House of Elders Prolong Tenure of Incumbent Regime

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By: Osman A.M.
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun)-Members of House of Elders have unanimously extended the tenure of the President, his deputy and members of the House of Representatives.

The upper House of parliament resolved to elongate the tenure of the current regime by one year and ten months after the lapse of constitutionally stipulated period in office.
This means the President, his deputy and Members of the House of Representatives will occupy offices till 27th April 2017.
The Guurti while bearing in mind the recommendations made in presidential letter referenced JSL/M/GG/81/2-3218/04/2015 dated 25/04/2015 based on the opinion of the president on ample time to hold elections after the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has requested for the postponement of polling date.
So as to discharge its mandate vis a vis the election period, the Guurti named a 30 member committee composed of 28 MPs, the House Secretary & its legal advisor on 30th April 2015 which committee was unanimously approved by the upper House.
Once established the committee tasked with collecting and collating views of stakeholders in electoral matters, drafted its mandate and the best ways to engage major political parties, NEC, professional bodies and society at large on 3rd May 2015.
Two days thereafter the committee conducted its first sitting on 5th May in parliamentary building (the section housing the Guurti chambers) Hargeisa where leaders of the opposition parties of UCID (Party of Justice & Development) & Waddani (National party) aired their views separately on the likely date to hold both parliamentary and presidential elections that was supposed to be mid this year.
A day later the upper House committee mandated to decide period of the said extension held the second session with the ruling Kulmiye party & NEC where they took their views and opinions separately.
In all the sittings and hearings conducted by the committee, presenters tabled their views and where possible multifaceted questions demanding their opinions were put to them.
Another sitting was held for all political parties to review matters that cropped up on 9th May this year.
Following arguments and counter arguments witnessed in the sittings, the committee considered the maintenance and preservation of law and order prevailing in the country before compiling its final report which they have tabled it before the House on Monday 11th May 2015.
The pace of civil & electoral registrations as well as registration of voters that is still on-going was also considered especially in respect of how the process is taking place in the Eastern side of the country.

The committee final report signed by all the 28 members of the House also reflected foreign interference in the process of coming up with date of the elections. It emphasized that foreign interference would not affect their decision of upholding nationalism as envisaged under the provisions of Article 38 (4) (B) of Somaliland Constitution.
It also noted the need to have ample time to enact proper legal instruments governing the elections of members of the House of Representatives (HoR) in additional to delimitating constituencies & civic boundaries so that subsequent elections are conducted under parameters of free, fair and transparent benchmarks.
The extreme hot and dry spell especially in coastal parts of the country that almost makes polls impossible in some times was also critical evaluated by the committee before arriving with its decision.

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