01 November, 2013

Somaliland Presidency Extension Is Inevitable

Somaliland Presidency Extension Is Inevitable

I have been observing the capability of current government to conduct the Presidential election as well as the Parliament in the near future. I concluded more years of extension would be certain. It would be two years or more for a Presidential election. As we know, the presidency had already added two years for registration election committee without seeking advice from any other stakeholders such as opposition parties, Elder houses, and Legislators. It is not the first time that President had done extension; on April 13, 2013 he added two more years extension of the parliament after their time expired. The Elder house reached the decision after the President requested the extension. This kind of addition time is undemocratic and not acceptable. When Kulmiye party was opposition, they did not have any tolerance for extending the Presidents time in office. Kulmye party has reached a point where they said when we won the election we will eliminate the house of elders because it is an undemocratic. Even though this never happened they collaborated with them.

However, we have witnessed what current government accomplished so far. The only thing that we can mention so far is that the president has won disabling all institution. He also put his side the House of Elders; they work with him and he is delighted with the way they work with him. In addition, the House of the Parliament has tremendously become the party of the government. The members are acting like communist party of the Siyad Barre era. The only thing they did not do so far is sing the welcome song like Abbo Silaanyo. The oppositions are not those that are capable of challenging the ruling party as well as the current President. They are very weak and they are not well organized parties. For example, the WADDANI party is acting like bipartisan party. Then there is no way they can push the President to fulfill his promises that include the Presidential election time.

Somaliland does not need this weak institution. It needs the strong, well functioning institutions. The leaders of the institutions must have the ability to carry out their duties; we do not need 80 years olds who are not able to walk, to sit and to fulfill his day to day duties. The President must have respect for the institutions and allow them to do their jobs whether they are oppositions or not.

Our constitution has clarified how we perform it if it is not possible to hold on the Presidential election but there is only one reason that allows to postponed the election which if it occurred when it security is jeopardize. Article 83, section 5 says: if on the expiry of the term of office of the President and the Vice-President, it is not possible, because of security consideration, to hold the election of the President and the Vice-President, the House of Elders shall extend their term of office (148) whilst taking into consideration the period in which the problem can be overcome and the election can be held.

We are expecting and willing to participate in any election that comes in the near future. Therefore, when the time for a Presidential election comes in middle of 2015 we are not ready to hear that it will be postponed. Even though it looks unavoidable to postpone Presidential election, it is not too late to do it. The time you were campaigning for the election in 2010 you promised gratification to engage in on time of all elections, that includes the Presidential election, parliament and if necessary the House of Elders modification.

Osman Awad


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