Immediately Upon agreement with IC democratization partners for a four pronged committee to oversee timely October 2017 presidential elections
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – Elders of the Guurti, the Upper Chamber of Parliament are set to decide the fate of postponed presidential elections.
According to our sources the president of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo has submitted a request to the elders for extension of his term in office, this if okayed see him vacate the presidency at the end of October this year.
Set to expired on the 27th March the need to extend his executive mandate for another seven months was occasioned by postponed presidential elections from the same date following unanimous consensus reached jointly by the three national political parties, national election commission and the presidency.
Though justified by difficulties being experienced by citizens in most parts of the country as a result of severe drought effects, it is the second time for delays in the polls initially slated for March 2015.
President Silanyo who took advantage of the just resumed sessions at the Guurti and agreement with IC partners , submitted his request before departure to the U.K. where he is currently visiting on personal business.
Though Guurti does not have mandate over election dates the fate of the new October dates hinges on the elders decision on the presidential tenure extension, which is constitutional preserve of the upper chamber.
Literally translated this means that if the elders reject the request to extend the tenure then presidential elections must be held on the 28th March 2017 as initially slated, the month in which the mandate of Silanyo would legally expire.
Whatever the elders decide, though pundits bet on term approval, the decision to further postpone the polls has raised much acrimonious within the country as well as between the Government and International partners with a stake in the Somaliland democratization process.
While the Guurti chamber remains a respected body through credit for establishing and sustaining prevalent peaceful co-existence in Somaliland, the recent move by the elders to unanimously approve the controversial UAE military base in Berbera during a stormy joint session of parliament is to most a pointer that an approval is surely certain.
In the meantime the government has managed to convince its IC partners to accept the decision to delay presidential elections, thence its support to the polls slated for October this year after discussions between a government delegations with ambassadors from IC democratization stakeholders based in Nairobi
Initially reacting negatively to the delay especially on justification of prevalent drought members of the International community partnering the Somaliland democratization process will now, through the four-sided committee, have a say especially in ensuring that the polls are held in October this year.
The committee’s membership shall be pooled from the National Election Commission, The three political parties, government and IC democratization partners.