Blundering assistants embarrass the head of state by releasing unedited official documents to the press.
By: Yumoha Pasha
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The country might in the near future see a citizen occupy the currently non-existent post of 2nd Vice president.
Covert Plans are afoot within high echelons of the administration of H.E Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo to effect constitutional changes thus facilitate the creation of a new office of 2nd Vice president.
The president also desires to maintain the status quos of the Elders of Guurti, thus continue appointing/selecting members of the upper chamber of parliament thus reverse a recent law that stipulates election rather than Selection of the elders.
The president who was supposed to include these recommendations in his annual address to the joint session of parliament, on the 31st of January 2013, did not do so after he allegedly succumbed to advise of senior assistants thus the two proposals struck off from the president’s speech.
While the head of state addressed the issue of his intent for constitutional amendments, the 2nd VPs slot and unelected Guurti designs become public through a gigantic Blunder that ensued with distribution, electronically, the original and unedited English language copy of the president’s speech which was replaced later.
As per the issue of Constitutional Amendments, the president had this to say “I would like to propose a revision to our Constitution to better serve the people and our nation, and to that end I will submit an official request referencing article 126 and 127 of the Somaliland Constitution”
According to the unedited English copy of the annual address speech which was erroneously availed all media houses by the office of the presidency; this is what the head of state wanted to inform legislators and the nation at-large as pertains to his designs for the creation of the post of a 2nd VP
“After considering our common interest and the need to always strengthen our unity as a nation, I propose that we modify the structure of the Executive Branch of the government and change it to create: 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President. This change I believe will create a balanced foundation in the building blocks of our nation.”
The edited English language copy of the speech addressed the issue of forthcoming elections which include those proposed for the Guurti which has for the last 21 years seen members appointed, the erroneously supplied unedited copy reveal the president’s design in this words:
“I would also like to propose a change in how the Upper House (Guurti) is structured and selected. As many of you may know, I was responsible in establishing the Guurti. The “Guurti” played an instrumental role in the struggle to freedom and made it sustainable long enough to achieve victory. Their wisdom and guidance generated recruits and financial support for the struggle, and they continue to benefit the nation today like they did in the past.
In order to expand its capabilities and experience I propose the following:
1. In order to accommodate the representation of minorities; members of the Guurti should be selected and not elected.
2. 40% of the membership should be represented by Traditional elders and Religious leaders
3. 30% of the membership should be representing intellectuals with college degrees and with at least 30 years of work experience.
4. All former presidents and Vice presidents, former Speakers of the house, former Chairmen of the Upper House and former Supreme Court Justices should become full fledge members of the Upper House instead of just the honorary membership they now enjoy.” Unquote
Though articles 126 and127 of Somaliland’s constitution allows the head of state to propose amendments by parliament to the said constitution, this proposal can only be made after Consultations with and agreement of his council of ministers and receive approval if two thirds of the members of the upper and lower chambers of the legislative assembly vote yes respectively.
Upon the president submitting the proposed amendments to parliament, house of representative shall debate on the merits and demerits for a period of two months before putting the amendments to a vote.
If parliament fails to approval the president’s proposed amendments during initial debates the law allows the head of state to seek approval after a 12 months hiatus.
Despite the constitutional stipulations that avail the president legal avenues to effect desired changes to the executive and the legislative assembly, the omission of these designs from President Silanyo’s speech during his annual address to the joint session of parliament on 31st January infers something else.
In spite of everything, the one thing sure is that all these mysteries shall come to light most likely not later than mid or end 2014.
Meanwhile it is worth mentioning that the designs by the president are appropriate as pertains to balancing the divergent clan loyalties to the state as well as giving the Guurti house of elders a much deserve continuity in their major mandate of reconciliation and keeping a watchful eye to the now and again errant house of representatives.