Published On: Wed, Sep 8th, 2010

Somaliland parliament gets extension amid opposition and public objection

HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — The legislative assembly in Somaliland, which is composed of two chambers – an appointed elder’s chamber, and a House of Representatives, has passed a legislation that will extend both chambers serving terms for than two years. In addition, the legislative assembly extended the terms of regional and municipal representatives in the country.

In an unscheduled meeting in Somaliland Interior Minister building, the Upper house of the legislative assembly, the House of Elders passed this legislation to extend their serving by overwhelming majority. The Chairman of the Elders, Sheikh Ahmed Sheik Nuhh Furre presided in the meeting. 68 members of The House of elders participated in the legislative assembly.

The bill extends terms of existing House of Elder, which expired in 2007 to another 3 years and eight months. It also extends the House of Representative serving term, which is ending in December of this year to another 32 months (one year and eight months.) In addition, the bill extends the terms of appointed municipal and regional representatives to another 18 months. Sixty-five members voted Yes to the legislations while two members did not cast votes.

The Vice Chairman of the House of Elders, Mr. Saeed Jama Ali, addressed the assembly. He said:

It is not possible to held another major election in the country at this moment. All three political parties in the country and the National Electoral Commission agree on that. There is no question about that. The Somaliland constitution affirms that if election cannot be held, the existing legislators should continue serving.

The passing of this bill comes two days later after the Somaliland president Mr. Ahmed Mohamoud Silanyo sent a letter to the legislative branch in which he demanded from them to pass a resolution in coming up with a solution since the country cannot held another election for parliament and local regional representatives. This extension clearly comes under blessing of the current president. But it is not clear if the administration agree of the length of the extension.

The term of House the Elders has expired under the previous administration; it was extended more than once. The lower chamber of the parliament term is expiring in December of this year. Somaliland held much delayed presidential election in June of this year, in which the incumbent president was defeated and peaceful transitional of power followed after vigorous and historic presidential race.

The House of Elders in Somaliland represents all clans that make up the country. The elders in Somaliland play important political and social role in Somali culture. This traditional governing system has been integrated into Somaliland political structures since it declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Unlike the Lower House or the House of Representatives, the House of Elders are not elected, they are appointed by such clan that make up Somaliland.

Opposition and Public Reaction

The opposing parties have condemned this extension and described it as unconstitutional and divisive. the opposition Party UCID released the following statement.

This extension for both chambers of Parliament is fraud. We don’t agree with it. It is like someone extending his or her own serving term with no check or balance. The parliament or the president did not consulate with civic leaders, with national electoral commission and other political parties in the country. Extending for more than three years is not acceptable. The country could afford another election in less than three years.

Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, the previous Somaliland vice president and high-ranked official in UDUB party condemn the extension. In statement released to the local press, the ex-vice president said:

“The president has stepped over the constitution and the he did not consulted with us or other The National Electoral Commission about the length of the extension. The president killed the system of check and balance we have in the country.”

Pubic reaction in the street of Hargeisa varied between agreement and disagreement. Many people I talked to were disappointed by the president’s actions. They said that President Silanyo followed in footsteps of the previous administration, which agreed to extend the legislative assembly more than once. Other people I talked in the streets of Hargeisa agreed with the president because it falls within the constitution boundaries and the country cannot afford to hold another election at the moment.

Most people and political figures in the country agree with this extension, but they disagree on the length of the extension. Political parties think the extension is too long and that it does not give them an opportunity to compete in the parliament and regional representation.

Reported From Hargeisa Abdiqani Baynah and contributed by Mohamed Gulaid

Somalilandpress | September 7th, 2010

Displaying 14 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. joog says:

    I think they had mistake to extent the election.. there is no major problem that is facing the country right. Election commision already did the most of the work….what they need to is pass few laws and start rising money from donars within year have all the remaining election togather.

  2. M. Ali says:

    Good reporting. I have e-mailed the link of this report to my group ( Somaliland Focus UK ).
    keep up the good work.
    M. Ali

  3. Gobaad says:

    The country cannot afford another election at this time has some merit in it, but we really do not want things we mostly criticized the previous president for to repeated by the current administration. Mr. Silaanyo was against any extension and reiterated that time and again. He has to practise what he preaches and stick to his principles.

  4. mohamed says:

    The Core axis of the whole issue is about the financial aspects.
    The Commission is around, the 3 branches of Govt. and the 3 parties
    are all willingly prepared to work together, and I don't see any real
    problem at all. The Commission have to co-ordinate the overall agendas
    national and International with particular emphasis to explore with the
    donor countries how much they can help. Then a workable schedules
    could be agreed upon by all the parties. The Media should also act in a
    more constructive and helpful manner. The Upper house of Parli(Guurti)
    must have careful study how to handle…it needs special attention.

  5. H Abdi says:

    This shows the true colors of SL President. Rember history has not told the truth about his leadership of SNM. But now Somaliland MUSA wakaa!

  6. Halyey Layaqaan says:

    Notice that Sudan– which gained its independence from Britain as one state in 1956, is being vertually cut into two parts (NORTH AND SOUTH). In the coming days, president Obama himself will takepart in a sideline coference at the UN in order to pave the way and facilitate this process of breaking -up Sudan into two. Notice the hypocracy on the part of African Union, and the rest of the world community, because when it comes to Sudan, neither the world ccommunity nor the African union obeject to that at all. But when it comes to Somaliland's restoration of its original independence, one will hear all sorts of excuses from the EU and AU and the UN. Well, these hypocrates must know that the will of the patriotic nation of Somaliland, has in the past proved to be made of iron. That is why we succeeded in defeating the dictatorship of Siyad Barre, and even his aerial bobardements of our cities did not help him stand in the face of our the will of people. By the same token, Somalinaders will cerainly overcome these lame exuses and hypocracy of the internation community. Somalilanders will then certainly gain deplomatic recognition no matter how long it takes.

    • mohamed says:

      Well said. By the way..what's your opinion about this Paster Jones Terry
      who threatens to burn the Holy Koran…in defiance to all the responsible
      human dignitaries outcries to save the Pastor from such horrible
      demonising beastly act of it's kind! And also the new Mosque to be built
      in Ground Zero vicinity of the 9/11 disaster where so many innocent
      people including big muslim numbers lost their lives, and then the only
      super power of the World retaliated in reckless fashion enemity to
      the Islam World…that..only God knows how many poor innocent muslims and
      non-muslims have lost their lives without accountablities. And why
      Muslim Govts. are not speaking out of the burning of the Holy book
      when in fact the non-muslim govts. are the only voices being heard
      to avert this from happening???

  7. Gobaad says:

    Muslim governments, especially Saudi Arabia who suppose to be the defenders of the Muslim Faith are cowards to voice their anger against west who besides, killing Muslim indiscriminately. And tried everything and anything to annoy and provoke Muslims from Abu Ghuraib to smearing Prophet Muhammed by calling Him terrorist and depicting Him in unfavourable images in the media. I have even seen the Koran being fed to pigs. And now this. How low could anybody go?!!

    Paster Jones Terry who threatens to burn the Holy Koran is deranged man and Muslim hater who just want to seek attention by creating an outcry around the world. If he was a religious man, he would respect the Holy Koran.

    On the contrary, we Muslims respect all Religions sacred grounds, Holy Koran or Bible, the sacred book of the Christian faith and wouldn't dare to burn the Holy Bible not because we are afraid but because out of respect to the Christian Religion.

  8. M. Khalid says:

    All controversies in the elections of Somali land whether it is presidential, parliamentary, or local governments stem from the fact that the constitution is concise and deficient . I advise those Somali landers who are concerned with the legality of our constitution to try to enlarge and complete it as soon as possible to avoid the recurring complaints.

  9. Omar says:

    I can understand the extension but 3 years is kind of 2 long less then to years for all branshes would have been good

  10. Abdi says:

    For the Fanatics out there who are trying to change the subject from Somaliland politics to religion and the Pastor in the USA, Please understand that United States is a democratic nation where people have the right to burn anything that they own.

    If you believe Quran is the word of GOD then you should know that God himself is more than capable of dealing with this pastor and it should not be up to anyone else, muslim or not to threaten this man's life or Ayaan Hirsi's or Salman Rushdi's or anyone else's.


    • mohamed says:

      Which democracy is the absolute and have the right to be supported and protected…
      the Almighty God divine law constitution or the man-made one which may have it's flaws of what have you coming?. Norms of responsiblity and
      accountablity enforcing the correct checks and balances is important.
      notwithstanding the ignorance of mankind not fully understanding and appreciating how the Godly affairs work…but there's a limit to the ways the man-made Democracy just can't support the Satanic do all the rotten things and get away with it in the name of Democracy!
      Man..which Democracy are you talking about..the Satanic one or
      the Anti-satanic one…afterall both Democracies have their working
      systems. In the end, the justification of in God we trust justices is what matters the most best outcome.Think again and the choice yours.

  11. Abdi says:

    So Mr. Mohamed, I guess you advocate threatening the life of anyone who do not have the same beliefe as you or anyone who burns the Quran or calls Muslims terrorists or other unpleasant names?

  12. Abdi says:

    And….. United states is a great country where a Jewish Mayor and a Christian President came out in defense of Muslims building the Mosque in new york against popular political position. Ofcourse the united states has it's share of bigots, racists and politicians without concience like anywhere else in the world but I am greatful to it's laws that are followed to the spirit and letter unlike many muslim countries where laws are created on the fly by some dress wearing dictatorial monarchs that have no regard for other muslims or human beings.

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