By Goth Mohamed Goth
Hargeisa-Somaliland cabinet ministers, on Thursday(07-06-2018)in a meeting chaired by H.E President Muse Abdi Bihi overwhelmingly approved the amended Presidential and Local Councils Elections (Consolidation & Amendment) and voters registration Law – No 20/2001 (2017).
The amended legislation which will pave way for women and members of minority groups excluded on the basis of birth or descent (EMGs) exercise their rights to stand for elections. The proposed modest number of reserved seats is aimed at realising, in a small measure, the equality rights in the Somaliland Constitution. The bill was drafted by Somaliland national electoral commission, together with civil societies groups, political parties and the solicitor general.
During last week cabinet sitting, copies of the proposed amended Legislation were circulated to members of the cabinet, and after lengthy debate and review, the cabinet adopted amended legislation which allocates proposed modest number of reserved seats to women and members of minority groups.
H.E President Muse Abdi Bihi, prior to the voting on the amended said, “The amended legislation not gives reserved seats in parliament but also full representation to women and minority groups who at the present are noticeably absent from the decision-making process – to the detriment of the country’s development, the President argue – are women make up 50% of the population and deserve to be given more political representation. It has being decided women should be allocated 18 seats in the 82 person parliament. So every political organization should allot 3 seats for women in every (6) region of the country who shall compete amongst themselves thence every region shall chose three women for parliament.
“In regard to Gabooye tribes (minority groups), we (3 political parties) have decided to allocate one seat to the Gabooye and I would suggest it should be a female, “kulmiye” the ruling party has already decided it should be a female, and we propose the other two political parties should do the same”, the President said.
The cabinet voted in favor of the amended Presidential and Local Councils Elections (Consolidation & Amendment) and voters registration Law – No 20/2001 (2017), the President thanked them.
On the other hand, the council of cabinet agreed to cut 5% funding for every development project slated in the 2018 national budget which will go into effect in July,the money will be used to support SL troops engaged in war with Puntland , ln addition 20% of the President salary will be deducted, 15% from the vice president and 10% from each cabinet minister salary.