By: Yusuf M Hasan
Hargeisa (Somalilandsun) – The election dates enigma that has gripped the country in two years has come to an abrupt end following a presidential decree scheduling 28th March 2017 as the day Somalilanders cast their ballots in presidential and parliamentary elections.
In his decree # JSL/M/XERM/249-3569/092015 the President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and acting upon authority granted his office by the constitution (See below) pronounced that polling next presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Somaliland shall be held in March 2017.
This brings to an official end the lengthily argument over the polls dates between the Executive cum ruling party Kulmiye and the opposition parties of UCID and Wadani since 21 April 2015 when the National Election Commission-NEC postponed then slated dates indefinitely.
The following uproar that ensued culminating to legal interpretation by the Constitutional court whose intervention ended and in extension to postponed election dispute that revolved around a number of timelines, with each of the opposing sides now including Guurti the upper chamber of parliament favouring separate dates that sparked controversial thus the president requires legal interpretation from the Judiciary.
The five justices bench constituted upon executive request for legal interpretation on the disputed elections that in effect extended tenure of the executive and legislature the Constitutional court sitting in Hargeisa and having perused documents submitted and listening / interview representatives from opposing sides, the presidency and ruling Kulmiye party on the right and opposition parties with prodding by national reconciliation and Rectification Council- NR$RC a body bringing together senior politicians in the country and in the middle Guurti whose decision to extend election dates and tenures of the body for 22 months, a timeframe that received the legal approval from the court.
In justification of authority to decree election dates as a mandate granted his office by the Somaliland constitution and guided by advice from relevant bodies the head of State –Quote
· Guided by articles 90, 42 & 83 of the Somaliland constitution
· In reference to a decision to hold elections on 28th 3 2017 , letter #GDQ/XK/444/2015 of 08/09/2015
· In reference to Guurti decision #GG/JSL/04/05/2017 and dated 11th April 2015 extending the tenure of president, vice president and members of both chambers of parliament ( house of representatives and Guurti) from 26th June 2015 to 11th April 2017
· Legal interpretation by the Constitutional court #MS/DD/02/2015 and dated 18/08/2015 and
· In lieu of the imperatives of holding presidential and parliamentary elections
Here thence decree that the republic of Somaliland shall go to presidential and parliamentary polls on 28th March 2017 –Unquote
– The translation of the Presidential decree from its original Somali to English languages transcript is by Somalilandsun and any errors are solely those of this site. Click to download the original Somali language version
Having quelled tensions Simmering nationwide exacerbated by the disapproval from and castigation by the IC mainly European Union and United Kingdom the country’s major Humanitarian, Development and Democratization donors it is hoped that both the IC and opposition parties shall put their pressure aside and support mechanisms mainly voter registration as a prelude to success of the ballot.
Somaliland: Parties Agree on December 2016 Election Dates
Somaliland: “Country to Hold Elections in April 2017”-Guurti
Copyright: Somalilandsun, 2015.