Somaliland: Presidential Elections, Opposition Parties Threats and Police Warning

Wadani and UCID have pledged to dislodged President Bihi from office by force if Somaliland presidential elections 2022 are not held on time

L-R Somaliland Opposition Wadani party presidential candidate 2022 Abdirahman Irro and Police boss Major General Mohamed Aden Saqadhi Dabagale

Somalilandsun: The National police service has the mandate of law enforcement in Somaliland and any disruption of peace shall not be accepted from any person irregardless of station in life.

This was stated by Commissioner of the Somaliland police force Major General Mohamed Aden Saqadhi Dabagale in Hargeisa.

The warning from the top law enforcer was directed to the opposition parties of UCID and Wadani following announcement that they shall paralyse government operations if presidential elections are held on time.

Acrimonies between the state machinery and opposition political parties ensued last week after president Muse Bihi appointed a commission to probe the Somaliland national Elections Commission-NEC

According to Gen Dabagale a meeting between leaders of the opposition party Wadani and some young people in Hargeisa need with agreement to stage protests and confront police if presidential elections are delayed.

Somaliland opposition Wadani party unconcerned as Riyo-raac R, is Ousted and replaced as NEC Chairperson by Ms Kaltun Sh Hasan
Somaliland opposition Wadani party unconcerned as Riyo-raac R, is Ousted and replaced as NEC Chairperson by Ms Kaltun Sh Hasan

Stating that any protest shall not be tolerated unless legally approved and that inciting youths to defy thus engage police officers in running battles is illegal, Gen Dabagale warned that the force shall respond appropriately.

“It is unwise for opposition political leaders to promise youths a battle with law enforcers” said the police chief Adding that such an incident shall end with lose of life or Injuries to Somalilanders

Elaborating Major General Mohamed Aden Saqadhi Dabagale,pointed out police officers are under government oversight , individually they are citizens of Somaliland.

In the Hargeisa meeting referred to by the police chief, the opposition Wadani party candidate in Somaliland presidential elections 2022 Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi ‘Irro” was in unanimous agreement with local youths that if per chance the polls are delayed power shall be taken by any means.

The Somaliland presidential elections are slated for the 13th November this year but a power struggle amongst commissioners of NEC has put doubts on the polls.

The first salvo on the NEC Dispute came after a statement released for public consumption informed that the commission has removed its chairman Abdirashid Mohamud Ali ‘Riyo-raac’ and subsequent replacement with Commissioner Kaltun Sheikh Hassan Abdi.

In reaction the allegedly Ousted chairperson countered the move in a statement in which he claimed to still being the bona-fide NEC boss.

NEC is a seven member constitutional body tasked with organizing Presidential, Parliamentary and Local councils elections as Well as referendums in Somaliland. NEC counter statements HERE

While stakeholders like the Wadani political party and the office of the President chipped in non offered a conclusive resolution.

Following mediation efforts the President Bihi said the dispute should be RESOLVED internally and through legal channels.

A short time later the head of state appointed a five member Committee tasked with probing NEC more so financial malpractices .

In a statement announcing appointment of the probe taskforce the Somaliland President said that having acknowledged that administrative and financial disputes within the commission could jeopardize their work, he appointed a five-member commission of inquiry:

The independent investigation committee is composed of Mohamed Jama Abdi, Farhan Mohamed Ali, Said. Hassan Habbane, Ahmed Saleban Jama and Bashir Abdi Harir whose mandate is to investigate issues such as the management and financial system of the commission, the procurement system and contracts for services and equipment of the commission, the management system and the registration of the commission’s assets.”

President Bihi stated that his APPOINTIVE  actions were guided by a report from the auditor General and subsequent clashing statements from NEC alluding to change of Leadership

Somaliland: “Solve Wrangles Internally and Legally” President Tells NEC
Flanked by his deputy Abdirahman Sayli Somaliland president Musa Bihi 4th, R, poses with NEC commissioners after a past meeting in Hargeisa-file photo

But in reaction to the ouster the Wadani party known to have been very opposed to the NEC chairmanship of the embattled Riyo-raac, sated that any sitting Commissioner has a right to leadership of the body.

“thoug the power struggle at the NEC is an internal issue that is best left to the body, our party shall as usual fully cooperate with the electoral regardless of who is at the helm” stated the opposition party in Hargeisa

The opposition parties just like in the past have accused the administration of using NEC to subvert democracy through recurrent rescheduling of elections in the country.

But the probe commision said to be in pursuit of a quick resolution met with vehement opposition from the Wadani party.

The opposition party argued that the team was neither independent nor was it tasked with a mutually acceptable conclusion to power struggles at the elections commission.

“This is a ploy to postpone presidential elections slated for later in year” Abdirahman Irro told youths at the Hargeisa meeting.

The opposition politician who is so far the only one to announce his candidacy in the now in doubt polls told the youths should not accept the planned postponement which was a disguised move to extent the term of president Bihi.

In his speech that has the police commissioner reacting to, Abdirahman Irro and the youths were categorical that election delays and term extension were unconstitutional thus their preparedness to confront law enforcers in pursuit of dislodging President Bihi come 13th November 2022 in Lieu of timely polls.

Following this pledge which has become the main topic of discussions all over the country the government had issued a statement pledging timely elections so long as existing constraints are solved.

Also read the law giving authority to hire also gives authority to fire thus Kaltun is legally new NEC Chairperson” lawyer Guleid Ahmed Jama  HERE

in the meantime the administration of President Bihi has reiterated first during his 2022 annual Somaliland State of the nation Adress 2022 at a joint session of the bicameral parliament in Hargeisa and second  through information minister that the government is COMMITTED to timely presidential elections