By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The stage is set for an all political parties meeting in Hargeisa on the 20th May 2015 to discuss the way forward as pertains to postponed presidential and parliamentary elections.
The dialogue facilitated by the state among the three national political parties of Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani which was announced by the Somaliland Vice president Abdirahman Abdilahi Ismail ‘Sayli’ on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 has been accepted by the opposition parties of Wadani and UCID whole ruling Kulmiye shall act as host.
During his announcement made from his offices in Hargeisa calling for clear headedness in solving the political differences that emanated after elders from Guurti, Somaliland’s upper chamber of parliament postponed the elections from 26th June 2015 to April VP Sayli said “Let us sit down together and resolve the differences that arose after Guurti allocated April 2017 as date for country to undertake presidential and parliamentary elections”
Guurti which is mandated by the Somaliland constitution as the body with election dates fixing allocated 27th April 2017 as the day the country’s goes to presidential and parliamentary polls after the national election commission-NEC announced that it cannot conduct the exercise on 26th June 2015 as originally slated due to technical and legislative encumbrances.
Thus setting the stage for not only rescheduling the much anticipated balloting but subsequent extension of the tenure of the executive and parliament Guurti went ahead with a 22 months postponement which surpassed the one year requested by NEC- June 2016 and the one year five months and fifteen days suggested by political parties thus an outcry which is to be solved on the 20th May during the all political parties meeting.
From his further urgings for politicians to exercise the roundtable conflict resolution mechanism in which somalilanders are reckoned with international as can also be ascertained by prevalent peace and security existing in the country neighboured among others a failed state the VP Sayli dialogue initiative was amicably accepted by the opposition parties of Wadani and UCID.
The UCID chair Eng Feisal Ali Warabe who was very vehement in his castigation of the 22 months granted NEC by Guurti said that the country comes first and any means geared towards pursuing consensus on any conflict is worth pursuing thus he and his party shall participate in the meeting hosted by ruling party Kulmiye.
As per the Wadani leader Abdirahman Irro who also doubles as speaker of the Somaliland parliament who also accepted the invitation gracefully stressed that dialogue on the 20th May should revolve around annulling the April 2017 date and reverting to either the one of June or November 2016 proposed by NEC and the three parties respectively.
Since the two opposition parties of UCID and Wadani accepted invitation to the national political differences dialogue call for meeting citizens are holding their breath awaiting the outcome which everybody hopes shall be positive thus end the election dates debate that has gripped the country.
In the meantime and while the agenda of the political parley is known to all and sundry conspicuously absent is the number and titles of invited participants from each party.
But after all is said and done it is a foregone conclusion that the meeting shall not only ensue with a simmering of political tensions gripping the country but an election date acceptable to all as well