Somaliland:Our Decision on Election Timeline is Final-Guurti
By Goth Mohamed Goth
H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud “Silanyo”on Thursday met with members of house of elders to discuss matters relating to the political impasse between the government and opposition political parties arisen from the extension of the elections timeline as dictate by the Guurti.
Mr. Said Jama Ali, the Vice Chairman of the House of Elders speaking to state owned media moments after they emergerd from the closed door said, “During our meeting with President Silanyo, we stated that the Somaliland House of Elders (Guurti) won’t reconsider and neither legitimize the political agreement reached by the three political parties with consent of the government and nor shall we backtrack from our previous decision to extend of the mandate of the President and Parliament.
The Chairman of the house of elders further stated, “We (Guurti) have the powers as stipulated in Article 83(Election Procedures) 5. (If on the expiry of the term of office of the President and the Vice-President, it is not possible, because of security considerations, to hold the election of the President and the Vice-President, the House of Elders shall extend their term of office whilst taking into consideration the period in which the problems can be overcome and the election can be held.)And it should be noted that nor the President or the Vice President has that powers to change the election timeframe expect the Guurti.
The two main opposition political organizations had earlier stated they won’t respect neither adhere with the house of elders “Guurti” resolutions because there is no such clause in the Somaliland constitution, and also because there are not the conditions set out in Article 42, ( Period of Office and Election Term) Section 3.( If the election of the House of Representatives cannot be conducted because of dire circumstances, the outgoing House shall continue in office until the end of these circumstances and a new House is elected. Dire circumstances are: a wide war, internal instability, serious natural disasters, such as earthquakes, epidemic diseases, (and) serious famines; and shall be determined and resolved by the House of Elders on the proposal of the Council of Government) of the constitution of the circumstances under which the elections to make. The house of elders “Guurti” is not entitled to override the previous commission specified time, and that the “Guurti” has no constitutional right to set election timeline.
The two parties have made it known that we they will not accept other than the previous agreement they had earlier entered with Government and the three parties agreed in the December, 2015. If the Government does not fulfill the agreement, the two parties will return to the time specified in the National Election Commission to hold elections on June, 01, 2016.
On the 11th of May 2015, the house of Elders “Guurti”, during an extra ordinary session, overwhelmingly voted for a 21 month extension two-year extension of the current government’s term, including a further postponement of the presidential and parliamentary elections due this June.