As he accuses government of being in cahoots with opposition party Wadani to derail planned mid 2015 elections and belittled conciliatory signals from Warlord Galayd
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The reported incarnation of unethical journalists has been a long time in the coming.
This was stated by the leader of UCID opposition party Eng Feisal Ali Warabe in Hargeisa, the Somaliland capital where he also alluded to machinations intended to postpone elections planned for planned by the ruling party Kulmiye in tandem with opposition party Wadani while negating reconciliatory moves displayed by Khatumo secessionist leader Ali Khalif Galayd.
“It is good that the government is clamping down on errant media houses and journalists” said Eng Warabe attributing his applause on what he termed as a love affair gone sour between the ruling party and purported independent media”
The combative Eng who accused the media of having negated him during the two presidential elections he contested and lost said that the local media houses are being taught a lesson on impartiality by the administration of ruling Kulmiye party which the media houses supported during the presidential elections of 2004 and 2010.
Said he, “the journalists discarded all modesty during the two election campaigns that saw concocted information supportive of Kulmiye party and anti-UCID both then in opposition disbursed to the public unashamedly”
While revealing that it was unfair for the muzzling of the press whose vibrancy has helped catapult the country’s democratization and prevalent peace to the high levels acclaimed internationally the UCID party boss said “what goes around comes around” thence impartiality and professional ethics in journalism must be observed at all times.
For the past couple of years the arrest and detention of journalists plus the banning of some medfia houses has been in the rise in Somaliland.
On the issue of presidential and parliamentary elections slated for mid 2015 that have created much debate in the country the engineer turned politician said that it is obvious that designs are in place to have the terms of both legislatures, House of representatives and Guurti, as well as the executive postponed indefinitely despite public pledges to the contrary.
“If the polls are to be undertaken as planned how come the new Election commission and registration bill is yet to be approved by the lawmakers” wondered Eng Warabe.
The newly named seven member National Elections Commission-NEC that is to oversee the forthcoming polls is awaiting approval by the house of representatives while the registration bill is pending at the Guurti where the elders chambers claim the speaker of house of representatives Abdirahman Irro doctored the original one passed by the lower house before submitting it to the elders chamber.
Said he, “As stipulated by the Somaliland constituti0n and elections laws a voter register must be in place six months before polls date “
While it is obvious that voter registration cannot be put in place timely for the elections to be conducted in mid 2015 what the Eng failed to mention is that the outgoing NEC had included amendments to the registration law pending approval changing the “Six months before elections” stipulati0n to “Six months with elections date”
The UCID top honcho who holds Finnish citizenship where the party was established alludes to his claims of postponing ballot vote to the fact that both the house of representatives and Guurti, the lower and upper chambers of parliament respectively, are in extended recess without any viable reason.
The tenability of timely polls have for the first time raised controversies that have seen opposition politicians vow to form a government of national unity this coming December if a voter register is not in place by then, this notwithstanding continued Statements from president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and various government and ruling party functionaries as pertains to determination of undertaking the exercise timely.
This controversy has resulted in the Somaliland democratization monitoring Committee, a Forum that brings together various international stakeholders that fund elections in the country intervene with demands for assurance of timely polls come mid 2015.
Late last month The committee summoned the three leaders of Kulmiye, Wadani and UCID Muse Behi , Abdirahman Irro and Feisal Ali Warabe respectively to Nairobi for consultations and grilling on the subject that resulted in a pledge that the new NEC and voter register shall be approved by the beginning of this month, November , already overdue by 11 days.
On the hand the UCID party leader trashed the conciliatory statement by leader of the Khatumo secession movement Ali Khalif Galayd who declared intent to solve the dispute in the Sool region through talks primarily for purposes of peaceful political reconciliation.
The Warlord Galayd led secessionist have been engaging the Somaliland army in skirmishes geared towards the establishment of a solely Dhulbahante clan enclave dubbed Khatumo state purportedly curved out of Somaliland , within Sool region and owing allegiance to the Somalia Federal Government.
Galayd who is the brains behind the Khatumo secessionism and main culprit of the army’s operations to rid Khatumo secession aligned clan militias out of Sool region remarked on the peaceful reconciliation intent in Washington DC, being on the US courtesy of deportation by the government of Ethiopia.