Somaliland: “Opposition Parties have Rights to Hold Meetings” Constitutional Court

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As the Wadani-UCID and Madasha political alliance Vs state and Guurti tussle on presidential and parliamentary election dates continues.

L- R Jamal Ali UCID, Adirahman Irro and Ahmed Mumin both from Wadani and MP Rayte celebrate court decision with a walk round the streets of Hargeisa

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Somaliland constitutional court has thrown out a government order barring meetings by opposition political parties.

In a ruling by a five bench judge chaired by chief justice Prof Aden Haji Ali opposition the administration was informed that meetings by opposition political parties was a constitutional right that cannot be denied whatsoever.

CJ AdenThe constitutional court passed this judgment following a petition by the opposition political alliance of Wadani-UCID and Madasha requesting an overturn against the meetings ban order.

On Wednesday the minister of interior Mohamed Ali Waran’ade in a joint communiqué with police commissioner brigadier Abdilahi Fadal Iman issued an order banning all meetings by the opposition parties’ alliance that also includes the unregistered National Rectification and Reconciliation Forum-NR&RF that brings together senior citizens from a diversified political persuasion.

Following the political alliance formed in Hargeisa by the opposition parties of Wadani and UCID and Including the NR&RF to pressure the administration as pertains to postponed election dates the Waran’ade-Fadal duo issued the ban order in which all institutions with conference facilities were banned from hosting the said.

Upon the decision by Constitutional court overturning the government order thus granting legality to meetings by the opposition alliance Minister Waranaddethe interior minister issued a statement in which he pledged adherence to by security apparatus.

On the other hand, a jubilant leadership of the opposition alliance celebrated the court’s decision with a victory walk through Hargeisa streets all the way to the offices of UCID and Wadani.

During a press briefing at the Wadani party offices the opposition party boss cum speaker of the Somaliland parliament Abdirahman Irro said the verdict by the constitutional court was not a victory for politicians but the country as whole.

“This decision proves that our legal system works” said Irro while revealing that planned opposition parties alliance meetings to pressure the government on disputed elections dates shall proceed in a legal manner.

Irro who also lamented the arrest of Hamza Bulbul group of journalists also revealed that his party offices are free of the huge contingent of riot police in control once last evening also informed that a large number of party functionaries have been detained.

According to the secretary General of Wadani Mohamed Abdilahi Ura’ade the party functionaries arrested by police from various branches in the country include the leader of the Women wing and others in Hargeisa, Berbera, Burao and Erigavo.

“We urge the ministry of interior to release our party officials immediately” Said Ura’ade

Meanwhile the Guurti the upper chamber of parliament has informed that its decision of Mid April 2017 as time for the country to undertake presidential and parliamentary elections is final and irrevocable.

This statement issued by Guurti spokesperson Elder Abdiqadir Indo-indo is set to exacerbate an already volatile dispute that emanates from the National Election Commission-NEC announcement of April 21st 2015 informing that due to pressing technical and legal encumbrances the body cannot hold presidential and parliamentary elections on the slated date of 26th June 2010.

Though NEC had revealed that it can conduct the polls by mid 2016 the decision which was left to the Guurti elicited political acrimony prior to elder’s deliberations after the three political parties of UCID, Wadani and Kulmiye came up with differing dates and counter dates.

With the international community displaying its displeasure with the postponement and subsequent stand-off the dispute went a step further with three differing suggested dates with UCID, Wadani and a joint Kulmiye one proposed thus adding to the one proposed by NEC other by Guurti.

In the meantime the saga continues

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