Somaliland: Local Councils Alleged to be Operating Unconstitutionally


Dr Mohamed Gaboose“President Silanyo is directly responsible for deterring successfully conduct of local council elections” Dr Gaboose

By: Yumoha Pasha

Somalilandsun- The president has been accused of acting unconstitutional in order to extend his term in office.

This accusation was made by the leader of UMMADDA political party Dr Mohamed Gaboose who informed that continued postponements of local council elections is a ploy by the president thus extend his term after it expires in mid-2016.

Said he, “If local councils elections are delayed it means parliamentary and presidential elections will be delayed as well”

Dr Gaboose informed that local council elections are the most important in the country as they produce democratically elected local governments in addition to the three national political parties allowed by the constitution. He argued that maintaining illegal local councils which are the grassroots precursor of parliament and the presidency is tantamount to treason.

“It is very unfortunate that the current local council were the first and the last to be put in office democratically during the December 2002 elections” Said the UMMADDA party leader

He accused the president of not only maintaining the local councils illegally but of having taken away their independency thus rubber stamp institutions that are managed from the presidency thus ensuring the overt malpractices that are undertaken without fear.

Said he, “President Silanyo’s muzzling of the local councils either by design or accident have removed the council’s accountability to the people”

.While reiterating the issue of delaying local council elections will in turn result in the postponement of parliamentary and presidential elections, Dr Gaboose asked the president to respect the constitution he swore to protect thus stops dillydallying with the country’s democratization process.

He advised the president to intervene between parliament and the National Election commission-NEC as the standoff between the two bodies is detrimental to the conduct of elections. This standoff emanates from both houses of parliament’s refusal to approve a number of amendments to the election laws proposed by NEC.

The commission has seen two of its amendments thrown out by parliament thus a major reversal in its plans.

As for the election body which he praised for a job well done so far, the UMMADDA leader said the president has failed to support NEC thus its continuous sojourns to Nairobi, the presidency and parliament begging for one thing or another while it is the duty of the head of state to ensure that all necessary facilities for conduct of elections are availed the body.

The president was further accused of intent to dawdle with holding elections in order to prolong his tenure in office due to the importance he has given to the talks with Somalia, an act he termed as visible to all Somalilanders, Said he, “in order for president Silanyo to maintain his credibility he should see to it that local council elections are held in 2012”

Dr Gaboose was one of the main Silanyo allies during presidential campaign in 2010 that saw the president’s Kulmiye party overwhelming defeat then president Dahir Rayale Kahin and his UDUB party.

Gaboose who was subsequently appointed interior minister resign in late 2011 to form his UMMADDA party when new political groups were legalized as a prelude to holding local council elections.