As the Chief Justice rules that the dispute is not of legal but political nature thence negate insinuations of judiciary interference
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somaliland sun- The Somaliland opposition party of UCID is to hold an extra-ordinary meeting in Hargeisa on the 7th of November.
The convention that brings together special party delegates has been convened with the sole objective of resolving a protracted wrangle between UCID chairman Eng Feisal Ali Warabe and Jamal Ali Husein, the party’s nominated candidate for the Somaliland presidency slated for 28th March 2017.
The protracted dispute that ensued after Eng Warabe declared that UCID no longer sponsors Jamal Ali as candidate for the presidency thus raising acrimonious resulting in the party splintering into two factions led by the combatants.
The rumbles in which the factional infighting saw each of the two leaders declare its position righteous thence disposal of opponent from former position ended up for arbitration by the Political parties registration and verification committee-PPR&VC.
The political parties watchdog upon Briefing by the two factions ruled that resolution of the factional dispute can and should be undertaken by the party mechanism thus ordering the convention of an extra-ordinary meeting for the said.
Failure to agree on the delegates to represent each faction thus non conformity with the PPR&VC dictates the combatants moved to the constitutional court, presumably in quest of a favorable ruling.
The constitutional court sitting in Hargeisa ruled that only the party can resolve its internal differences and guided by the PPR&VC decision urged the two factions to concur on the disputed list of delegates, leading to the extra ordinary sessions’ convention
Slated for 2nd November the Eng Warabe faction approached the court for an injunction on one pretex or another leading to an initial postponement devoid of an alternate date, leading to the Jamal faction to accuse the court of partiality.
According to the Somaliland Chief Justice who is also head of the constitutional court Prof Adan Haji Ali Ahmed the judiciary does not have authority over internal party matters which is the preview of the PPR&VC thence the absence of any authority by the court.
In apparent response to the accusations by Jamal Ali Hussein who is fighting for his political life and relevance in the country, the Chief Justice said that legalities pertaining to political parties are governed by Article 14 of the constitution as well as internal party rules and memorandums of understandings entered upon by politicians.
“It is not incumbent upon the court now or in the future to act in anyway with the aim of pleasing any litigants in this current issue or other” said Prof Adan adding that judiciary beginning with the regional all the way to the appeal and constitutional courts had come to the same conclusion reached by the PPR&VC.
Stressing on the impartiality accorded the dispute by the country’s competent magistrates and judges after careful study of the two factions argument positions each of which believes to be righteous thence the aggrieved party, as well as dictates of Article 14 and the MOU between the two chief protagonists, the cumulative judgment is that:
“The dispute is not of a legal but of a political nature and therefore the judiciary has neither authority nor can it interfere with lopsided judgment” adding that the UCID party has only one option of resolving its leadership wrangles and factional infighting, that is conform with the PPR&VC decision and convene its extra-ordinary session.
Now that the ball is finally in the party’s own backyard local political watchers see neither a successful conclusion to the convention nor a resolution to the wrangle between Eng Feisal Ali Warabe and Jamal Ali Hussein.
For the Engineer turned politician and co-founder of the party has already declared himself presidential candidate come 2017, which if goes as per intent shall be his third attempt at the country’s highest office having unsuccessful contested the same in the presidential elections of 2003 and 2010 respectively.
For the youthful Jamal Ali, a former banker whose last professional post was as Citibank country manager in Tanzania, his entry into the local political scene started disastrously in his vessel of choice and former ruling party UDUB after a protracted battle for nomination as presidential candidate with Mohamed Ali Waran’ade (exInterior minister) that led to the party’s disbanding.
Having committed to politics Jamal Ali joined forces with Eng Warabe through a huge cash, read dollars infusion, presumably for revamping the party, thus the MOU referred to by the CJ.
With the funds infusion the banker bought himself the coveted presidential candidacy denied him by Waran’ade, a purchase clearly stipulated in the subsequent MOU that retained the UCID party chairmanship to Eng Warabe.
In the 2012 local council elections the two former political allies now turned cutthroat enemies campaign successfully to emerge one of the three national political parties from a poll of seven political groups as per the dictates of the constitution that stipulates that only three political parties can exist at any one given time in Somaliland.
The trepidation held by UCID supporters and local political watchers as pertains the outcome of the party’s November 7th extra-ordinary meeting relates to the pre-Jamal dispute between Eng Feisal Ali and his former right hand man and UCID co-founder Abdirahman Abdilahi Irro that ended with the splinter leading to establishing of opposition party Wadani.
This adamancy by the Engineer to implement MOU’s to the letter in the post 2012 local council elections and pave way for others to vie for the presidency he had failed to win twice not only led to the splinter but a mass defection of senior members especially in parliament who either joined ruling Kulmiye or set up base at Wadani for which Irro the Somaliland speaker of parliament is presidential candidate but in essence degraded it, UCID to a national party without any muscle nor clout.
With presidential elections slated for Somaliland In March 2017 will the two factions come to terms thence start campaigning for office or will UCID join UDUB in the garbage dump?
With no recourse for splintering and establishing party of own like Irro did, is Jamal Ali Hussein destined to succumb to the candidacy of Kulmiye’s Muse Behi both of who come from the same Isaaq sub-clan a fact that will surely see both lose to Irro if the clan card is anything as it is, a thing to reckon with?
In the meantime all eyes and ears are fixated to the convention at the Adams Inn hotel in Hargeisa on the seventh November