An Acrimonious Joint session of the Somaliland two Houses of Parliament
On, Sunday 12th of February 2017, the two houses of Parliament came together on an acrimonious and also controversial joint session on the request of President Silanyo. The cover agenda advanced by the Presidency was a consultation of national security matters which is to be held on joint session of the two houses Parliament, chaired by the Guurti Chairman. However, it was an open secret that the actual agenda was to get a blank cheque approval from the Parliament, for a process to grant a military base to the United Arab Emirates at Berbera (in a 70 Km Sq. territory around the Airport).
- Legally, the House of Representatives has the mandate to approve international agreements entered by the Somaliland Government. To call for a joint session of the two Houses to approve an agreement, is an anomaly in the constitutional process of Somaliland. Furthermore, the that fact that there was no Agreement on the matter brought to the approval of the Parliament was another anomaly in this joint-session of the two Houses. It is worth noting that two days earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland (HE Sa’ad Ali Shire) returning from Ethiopia, has told at his press conference at the airport. that there is no Agreement between Somaliland and the UAE on this matter is also telling of the legal status of this controversial joint-session of the Parliament; but above all it is also a testimony of the mockery of the rule of law that became a trade mark of this Kulmiye Government.
What happened in the Parliament today?
- The President read a 4-minute speech and then left the Joint-session of the two Houses without clarifying the purpose of the call to the session. However, the Guurti Chair allowed a Minister to present a Somali language brochure, calling it an agreement. At that point, the WADDANI MPs demanded that, if there is a signed proper Agreement as the Government purports, it should be distributed in the session for debate. But, there is no agreement. Then a pre-arranged process of hijacking the parliamentary process unfolded:
– The Chairman of the Guurti (HE. Suleiman Mahmoud Adam), who was chairing the session, called for a military unit ready nearby, which entered immediately into the floor of the session. And he ordered them to remove all of those WADDANI MPs demanding the Agreement to be delivered in the House. The soldiers not only removed all those opposition MPs raising their hands or voice, but also seriously manhandled them, dragging many of them on ground, beating them and jailed three MPS for several hours in the Central Police Station of Hargeisa. The rest of opposition walked out of the Joint Session, which was happening at the Guurti Champers, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives to protest against the illegal act of hijacking the Parliament. As expected the Government continued the hijacked session and declared to have received approval vote of the Parliament to the tune of 144 yes against only 1 opposing it.
The WADDANI Position to the Declaration of a Parliamentary Approval of an Agreement for a UAE Base
- The WADDANI Party has made abundantly clear its opposition to such a base in Somaliland, its negative repercussions to Somaliland and to the region. Its position is fully in line with the Somaliland public’s overwhelming opposition to the base and the concerns of the regional governments.
- The joint session of the two Houses of Parliament to approve an agreement is unconstitutional. Approval of agreements a clear constitutional mandate of the House of Representatives.
- The seeking of approval for an agreement not yet signed or even non-existent is at best misleading the legislative and bluntly said is to be considered a fraudulent act from the side of Government.
- The coercion used to get the approving vote is illegal; that is, the evicting and manhandling the MPs who were on their right to demand a signed agreement to approve.
MP Ali Haji is beaten by the army from the presidency, after he demanded signed agreement to approve
(Left) MP from Sahil Reg. Protesting against the MP members and demanding agreement,
(Right) he was reduced to rubble by presidency special army and moved him away from the hall Army from the Presidency preparing themselves to beat and harass MPs who protested against aggression
MP Saed Elmi Roble (WADDANI Sahil) also asked for a signed agreement and was beaten by the Army from the Presidency
MP Mohamed Salah Egeh (WAD, Sanaag) attacked by the Army from the presidency after when he requested signed agreement to be approved
Here are also audiovisual clips from YouTube.com that shows you the lawlessness and the actions taken place in house during the aggression
Therefore, the WADDANI Party considers today’s act of voting in the Somaliland Joint Session of the House of Representatives and the Guurti as unconstitutional and no agreement is approved for the establishment of a military Base in Berbera by the UAE.