Somaliland: Joint Parliamentary Session for CJ Approval Fails

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In Relation to Guurti chair’s opposition to the state-political parties election dates dispute conflict resolution thus setting the stage for a new political tooth to crunch

By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The country will go another days without a person officially occupying the office of chief justice-CJ in Hargeisa.
This anomaly has been made possible by failure of convening a joint session of Guurti and House of Representatives the two chambers of the Somaliland parliament that have the mandate of approving or rejection the appointment of a CJ by the president.
On 24th May 2015 President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo appointed youthful lawyer Aden Hajji Ali Ahmed as chief justice in a presidential decree # JSL/M/XERM/249-3319/052015 as replacement for the fired former occupier Yusuf Ismail Ali.
Though a new CJ has been appointed controversies related to the just concurred election conflict resolution entered upon by the administration and three national political parties is directly related to the pending approval following refusal by Guurti chair to accept the president’s request for a joint session.
Approval of Lawyer Adan Haji Ali as replacement of Yusuf Ismail Ali as Somaliland Chief Justice put in abeyanceSuleiman Mahmud Aden the chairman of Guurti, the upper chamber of parliament is contesting the resolution pact entered upon by the government and the Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani political parties in which they shifted from the Guurti set election dates of April 2017 to December 2016.
The Guurti chair has remained adamant that the decision of his elder’s chamber is not only legal but irrevocable as well not to mention that neither the state nor the political parties have anything to do with both extension of tenure for the president and parliament.
With the resumed political standoff precipitated by disputed elections dates that ensued after the National Election commission-NEC revealed legal and technical encumbrances made it impossible to hold presidential and parliamentary polls slated for 26th June 2015, the CJ saga is the second casualty following the outcry from international community stakeholders.
L-R Eng Warabe -UCID ,Muse Behi- Kulmiye, VP Sayli and Abdirahman Irro -Wadani at their joint press brefiing announcing agreement on Dec 2016 Somaliland election date on 28th MayWhat is more poignant at the moment is the reasons behind the Guurti chair’s vehement opposition to the state –parties accord that simmered down wide spread disturbances in the country and beyond considering that it is his, Suleiman, elders committee that initially started the uproar after refusing to approve the 1st July 2016 NEC requested dates for the polls or the ones of November 2016 thus suggested by the parties in favour of his April 2017.
In lieu of the fact that Suleiman Mahmud Aden is convinced that decisions of the Guurti are irrevocable thus sacrosanct, what next for the reckoned with Somalilanders home brewed conflict resolution?
Even though the so far successful home brewed conflict resolution mechanism is largely credited to the Guurti, thence prevailing security and peaceful co-existence among communities in the country at the midst of world’s most volatile region, it appears that the sacredness that chairman Suleiman is according his chambers who operations are traditional oriented has been overshadowed by advances in modern governance and democratization and not forgetting emerging covert masters in the guise of IC partners.
And though Suleiman who led a very uproarious session of his chambers on Saturday where elders were divided on the way forward as per the remerging election dates conflict believes his acts are legal while others are not it is salient that somebody needs to get off the sacristy horse for the sake of the nation since the political parties will not make an about-turn in their accord that has received wide acclaim.
UK envoy to Somaliland and Somalia Amb Neil Wigan and Guurti chairman Suleiman Aden pose outside the Somaliland parliament in Hargeisa after meeting on 27th May The irony of the new dispute is difficult to fathom in the sense that the state-parties accord whose preamble was at pains to show respect for the elders chambers dwelt solely on issues electoral which is legally the preserve of NEC while the Guurti presidential and parliamentary tenure extension was not on the menu.
Thus common sense dictates the none existence of Guurti authority being usurped for the 22 months presidential and parliamentary tenure extension made still stands legally until a month after NEC announces results of elections thus ushering a new administration and parliament either current ones re-elected or win contenders.
According to lawyer Ibrahim Hashi Jama who is Editor of www.somalilandlaw.com  what the country needs at this juncture in lieu of the divergent legal interpretations is a statutory reform in its entirety in order to align the in place democratization process and modern, read western, style of governance with the traditional methods fronted by elders in the Guurti. Read the lawyer Ibrahim recommendations.

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