Somaliland: Berbera Mayor Recants Dumping his UCID Party and Defecting to Kulmiye


Berbera Mayor A. M. Jama

As UCID petition their removal from party membership list to the parties registration Committee which dilly dallies with obscure messages to the mayor and his Councilor Cahoots

By: Yusuf M Hasan

BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – The residents of Berbera are yet to come to terms with the hopstepandjump political antics of their mayor and a council member who defected from their UCID to ruling Kulmiye party recently.

The saga surrounding the Berbera local council started last week after a ceremony with much pomp at Mansoor Hotel saw the mayor Abdishakur Mohamed Hasan ‘Idil’ and Councilor Abdirashid Mohamed Jama announced their defection from their party of UCID to ruling Kulmiye party.

The much talked upon and shocking political antic was witnessed by high ranking government ministers, senior Kulmiye party members and a number of the mayor’s supporters not to mention many journalists representing websites, newspapers and TV channels.

As a result of pursuits by UCID party to have the mayor Idil and cllr Jama removed from the party list of members by the Political parties Registration and Verification Committee-PPR&VC the beleaguered mayor has made a big about turn and is now, contrary to audio and visual evidence, claiming to have not defected but only stated his commitment to work with the ruling party.

“Am still a staunch member of UCID and has therefore not defected to Kulmiye as reported but only stated my commitment to working with the administration” said Mayor Idil during an interview in Berbera town where he also denied any knowledge of stickers and posters adorned with his picture and Kulmiye party colours and logo that are pasted all over the port city.

Informing that Somaliland was a democratic country with freedom of speech and expression the mayor attributed the profusion of his and Kulmiye colours posters and stickers to his supporters in the ruling party.

 Berbera Mayor Abdishakur in Kulmiye party colours and flag

While Councilor Abdirashid Mohamed Jama has so far maintained silent counsel on the issue the UCID desire to remove the two defectors from its party list thence loss of current offices, made official by a letter of to the PPR&VC seems to have woken Mayor Abdishakur Mohamed Hasan ‘Idil’ to the possibility of losing his perk position and subsequent public discordance thence confinement to political obscurity.

Following submission of the official letter of intent to replace the two defectors the PPR&VC which though mandated by the constitution with the authority to register and verify political parties the committee reciprocated the opposition party by secretly communicating (see letter below) with the two beleaguered Berbera municipality council members asking them to respond to purported allegations of defection to Kulmiye made by their sponsoring party UCID.

Following revelations of the PPR&VC letter clearly a covert counsel to the Mayor and councilor to make denials that the mayor subsequently made, UCID party responded by castigating the registration committee accusing it of not only acting illegally but impartially as well an apparent support of ruling Kulmiye party thence a violation of its constitutional mandate.

For the Berbera mayor who swore that he is a diehard member of UCID which he says, “I joined on principles and swear in the name of Allah that will remain party member but shall cooperate with current government of Kulmiye party due to its good policies” though proof otherwise in the domain of the public clearly indicates him both visually and audibly and witnessed by high ranking government ministers and ruling party functionaries declaring defection from UCID to Kulmiye, makes him mayor either a political heavyweight or UCID and the public at large completely naïve.

As the Berbera local council saga of defections from one party to the other while in office followed by subsequent denials thence the tangle not yet reached the judiciary between the country’s second opposition party of UCID and the PPR&VC the question remains who is in the legal right.

This legal puzzle is as a result of amendments made to the elections law by parliament between late 2011 and early 2012 which not only resulted to mention a few, in the scrapping of voters register but legalizing the defection of a sitting member of parliament from one party to another as well while retaining membership but salient on members of the local councils thence ongoing stand-off in Berbera.

But in a nutshell and after all are said and done and regardless of whether any defections occurred in Berbera the mere insinuation of such by Abdishakur a person in the position of mayor of a major city in the country is sickening and he and his cahoots surely deserve the political dustbin.

PPRVC letter to Mayor