Somaliland: Parliamentary Factional Conflict Escalates


Elder Abdi Warabe ensconced between uncomprisming leaders of Factional parliamentary negotiation teams MP Kore and Abdirahman Deere

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The 14 member parliamentary dispute resolution committee has thrown back the mantle to Elders of the Guurti after failing to reach consensus.

The 14 MPs committee proportional composed of pro ruling Kulmiye and Wadani opposition parties was formed upon intervention members of Guurti, the Somaliland upper chamber of parliament led by Elder Abdi Haji Warabe after tensions rose in the house of representatives (lower Chamber) as a result of divergence on the way forward necessitated by amendments to the house by-laws that saw the major changes to house protocols.

Acrimonies within the house of representatives ensued after members from the political divided within the august house voted overwhelmingly in favour of amending by-laws that saw the AYES needed to unseat the two deputy speakers reduced from 55 to 42 while that of removing the speaker remained as before that is 55.

The second issue of acrimony relates to changes through the same amendment to house protocols as relates to the high table that originally had the speaker conduct house business flanked left and right by his two deputies but changed thus the speaker perched alone and the two underlings relegated to sit among ordinary members.

Acrimonies started after the Somaliland  House of Representatives changed seating arrangements thence dislodging the two deputy speakers from their patch beside the speaker

Speaking to the press outside parliament buildings leader of the seven member team of negotiators from Kulmiye party MP Abdirahman Omar Alin “Abdirahman De’ere” said that their negotiations have come to naught after failure to compromise on the two contentious issues that led to dispute.

“We asked our counterparts to accede to making the number of votes required to disposed the speaker and deputies equal or revoke amendments to by-laws thence return to pre-dispute status” Said Abdirahman De’ere

In a nutshell the pro-government faction was in essence demanding that the either the votes that shall legally dispose a seating house speaker and two deputies be made equal that is 42 instead of current of 55 for speaker and 42 for the two deputies or revoke changes and return to pre by-laws amendments.

But according to the pro Speaker Irro faction team leader MP Suleiman Ali Koore the bone of contention ensuing with failure to compromise following four days of intense negotiations is as a result of adamancy by their pro-government colleagues who refused to budge on any point thence talks collapse .

“we agreed and stand by our decision to return the contagious issue of seating protocols to pre by-laws amendment status thus return 1st Deputy speaker Bashe Mohamed Farah to his perch in the right hand side of Speaker Irro and 2nd deputy Ali Yusuf to the left but retain 55 and 42 votes as necessary to dispose the speaker and deputies respectively” said MP Suleiman Ali Koore

In their press conference the pro Irro faction negotiators blamed their colleagues for having in the first instance having proposed factions alone tet ‘a’ tet thence excluding elders and now having made an about turn by wanting Guurti facilitators back.

The intervention by Guurti came after temperatures precipitated by proposed dual pronged motions by the two factions saw fist fights among the lower chamber honourable leading to intervention by police (first in the history of Somaliland) thence a team led by Elder Haji Abdikarim Hussein Yusuf “Abdi Warabe” intercede and prevail upon the house for seven days to mediate thence subsequent adjournment.

Elder Abdi Warabe leading notables like honourary Guurti members Ahmed Abdi Mahmud Habsade (Former Minister) and Abdirahman Aw Ali (Former Vice president) equipped with seven days free reign facilitated the establishment of the 14 member composed of seven legislators representing factions from the ruling and opposition parties with the intention of steering negotiations only to be requested to seat in the sidelines.

Elders enroute to parliament to resume mediation saddle after 7 a side teams fail to compromise

Back to acrimonies long standing but exacerbated by the by-laws changes effected in December of 2013 then seen as a triumph by Speaker Abdirahman Irro and his faction of opposition MPs whom he leads in his other capacity of Wadani opposition party leader but made successful by a rebellious faction of ruling party MPs thus leading to changes in the composition of a number of house sub-committees the ball is back to square one.

It is here worth mentioning that the ongoing dispute in the August house can be traced to the president Rayale Administration era decision through compromise by the then ruling UDUB party and opposition parties of UCID and Kulmiye (Now ruling) of postponing parliamentary elections by extending term and conduct presidential elections that subsequently saw current president Silanyo and his Kulmiye party dislodge Rayale and UDUB.

The irony of the matter is the compromise led to prevailing situation that sees the unwritten gentlemen’s agreement pertaining to balancing of power among various Somaliland clans discarded thence prevalent status in which one clan holds the four top seats of President (Silanyo), Speakers of Parliaments’ House of representatives (Irro) and Guurti as well as chief justice (Yusuf) thus relegating other clans to the doldrums of deputies or none.

MPs vote only after eating loxoox from the highest bidderThis uneventful compromise further saw current plans of holding presidential and Parliamentary elections simultaneously sometime in 2015 a move that have resulted in an over decade old legislature whose members have assumed presumed perpetual ownership of tenure with the sole objective of who is the best political trickster playing one side against the other especially as relates to which side is makes more sensed in the pocket and stomach filling game.

Guurti intervention or not, factional negotiations or not the only way out of this impasse and political mockery is for the members of parliament to be sent home and subsequent snap elections thence a fresh cream of legislators with the nation at heart.

In order to preserve the sacredness of the Republic of Somaliland especially at this very hour when war drums are beating in the East and legislators are squabbling over 42 and 55 votes to unseat or retain speakership holders the best medicines though expensive is for the rousing of somalilanders towards demands for separating presidential and parliamentary elections, disband the house of representatives and call snap elections.

By the way what parliament is this considering that it was originally formed by political parties some of which like UDUB do not exists?

The issue of presidential elections does not arise now since the current holders’ tenure ends in 2015 which is the proper moment for contestants to flex muscles and solicit votes not forgetting that aspirants to the Hargeisa presidency FUNNY enough started campaigns a year to the current presidency.

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