By Abdirahman Mohamed Jama ( Awxoog )
Somalilandsun – Somaliland’s unelected chamber of Elders ( The Guurti ) has extended the incumbent presidents’ term and that of the house of Representatives for 22 months ( I.E 1 year and 10 months ) .
The sitting government and it’s members of Parliament has been tirelessly campaigning for this illegal and unconstitutional extension and has no intention of conducting a free and fair election for the coming five years. The ruling president, Mr Silanyo was elected on 26th June 2010 for a five year term but he is intending to cling on power in any cost. This postponement is illegal and unconstitutional and against the will of Somaliland people and opposition parties.
According to Somaliland election Laws , it is the duty of the NEC to fix the election date. Due to technical reasons, they have announced that the Presidential and Parliamentary elections will be postponed for a year and will be held on 1st June 2016. The Opposition parties accepted this delay with some reluctance and the president sent the Decision of the NEC to the House Of Elders to be sealed and approved . The chairman Of the unelected House of elders ( The Guurti ) has intentionally refused the decision of the National Electoral commission on National and International televisions. He also campaigned on behalf of the government and twisted or lubricated the hands of members of the House Of Elders and came up with almost two years extension , one year and 10 months to be exact for the incumbent government and the House of Representatives.
Sulmieman Mohamud Adan, the chairman of the House of Elders is the main obstacle and spoiler of the democratization process in Somaliland. He urged his fellow elders of Guurti MPS not to listen and ignore Somaliland people, the NEC, International community, democracy Steering committee ( which consist of members of the EU and Norway )and all stake holders of the Somaliland elections. He is against the con sensually reached agreement between the Somaliland’s three political parties and the NEC blessed by the president and Vice President which was to delay the polling day for a year.
The House of elder’s extension has no legal basis what so ever. They based their decision on TWO clauses in the Somaliland constitution which give the House Of Elders to extend the term of president, Vice President and the House Of Representatives but with certain conditions and dire circumstances. The following clauses of the Somaliland constitution do not give the House Of Elders a blank cheque to do what ever they want as the belligerent , ailing 80 years old chairman of the House Of Elders insists. Please see Article 42, Clause Number 3 which says , quote ” If the election of the House Of Representatives can not be conducted because of dire circumstances , the outgoing House shall continue in Office until the end of these circumstances and a new House is elected, Dire Circumstances are:- a wide war, internal instability, serious natural disasters, such as earthquakes, epidemic diseases, (and ) serious famines; and shall be determined and resolved by the House of Elders on the proposal of the Council Of Government.”
Please also see Article 83 , clause 5 which says: quote ” If on the expiry of the term of office of the president and Vice President, it is not possible, because of security considerations, to hold the election of the president and Vice President , the House of elders shall extend their term of office whilst taking into consideration the period in which the problems can be overcome and elections can be held.”
In the light of the above mentioned articles, the House of elders have no reasons to delay the elections more than the one year already delayed by the NEC. There are no wars,internal instability or natural disasters, as per the dictates of Somaliland Constitution.
Sulmieman Mohamud Adan, the chairman of the House of Elders is the main obstacle and spoiler of the democratization process in Somaliland. He urged his fellow elders of Guurti MPS not to listen and ignore Somaliland people, the NEC, International community, democracy Steering committee ( which consist of members of the EU and Norway )and all stake holders of the Somaliland elections. He is against the con sensually reached agreement between the Somaliland’s three political parties and the NEC blessed by the president and Vice President which was to delay the polling day for a year. Sulieman Gaal will not be able to hold against the tide for so long, he will be washed away by the tsunami which is the will of the Somaliland public. Surely, Sulieman Gaal will lose the battle and the Somaliland people will emerge the victors.
The author Abdirahman Mohamed Jama ( Awxoog ) is a Member Of Somaliland Parliament , House Of Representatives