Somaliland: Parliament Bosses in Punch-up over Controversial Fuel Depot Privatization Motion


L R Speakers of Somaliland Parlaiment in a punch up Bashe Mohamed Farah and Abdirahamn Irro

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The session of 12th Sept 1015 in the Somaliland parliament ended in disarray after etiquettes were thrown out of the window.

The deliberations at the August house chaired by Speaker Abdirahman Irro and with an expected debate on a government draft motion to privatize the national fuel depot at Berbera originally rejected by legislators of the House of Representatives but back on the agenda after President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo resubmitted it to the house.

In a dramatic turn of events that ensued after Speaker Irro who was flanked by his two deputies Bashe Mohamed Farah and Ali Yusuf announced that debate on the motion was untenable since all the 38 MPs supporting the privatization were not present as per house procedures.

“Since 5 of the 38 pro Fuel depot privatization motion proposers are absent debate cannot continue as per house procedures” said Abdirahman Irro thus announcing a postponement to the next day.

On these utterances the deputy speaker Bashe Mohamed Farah who was seated on the right of Irro, immediately wrenched the microphone from his boss and informed that he was head of legislators from ruling Kulmiye party whom he ordered not to leave the chambers as it was business as usual for them.

This revelation of the ruling party having its own leadership in the house raised uproar among legislators and as the commotion continued Abdirahman Irro retook the microphone from Bashe and tried to bring order to no vain while informing that parliament has etiquettes that must be adhered to, as his deputy was wrestling him.

1Somaliland President- inset -wants legisltors to review propsed development plans for the Berbera Oil Terminal“If the house has two speakers existing simultaneously then nothing stops Somaliland having two presidents at the same time” said Irro while his deputy continued wrestling him for the mic.

The now in turn angry at the ingoing’s Irro, upon trying to wrench the microphone from a resisting Bashe ended up punching him, Bashe, a number of times before they were separated.

While the two having political antagonists for some tie with Bashe fronting government agendas some of which Irro as member of the opposition party Wadani opposes this is the first tie for the differences to be solved Mohamed Ali style.

The contagious motion in which the government wants to privatize the national fuel depot and oil terminal in Berbera has become a malingering issue in the legislature its original rejection by the house was subsequently rejected by the head of state who returned it for a repeat debate.

On the 30th August 2015 a house session with a quorum of 55 saw 40 legislators voted in favour of retaining the management of oil storage facility and subsequent handling of fuel stocks in the country in government hands.

A while later president Silanyo resubmitted to parliament in justification of the authority granted by Article 12 of the constitution which empowers the government to either own, buy, sale, rent, lease or dispose of any moveable or immovable state property in the manner it deems fit.

As he acknowledged receipt of the draft proposal by State the speaker Abdirahman Irro, who said it was unto the house to decide further revealed that the constitution is not clear on how to handle such an issue emanating from a rejected motion being resubmitted thence setting the stage for confrontations that culminated in the punch-up at parliament buildings.

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