Amid growing tension over forthcoming presidential polls, CJ swears in 4 RAC members

News Politics Somaliland

In what is seen as another step by the Somaliland government to interfere with the forthcoming Presidential elections, the Chief Justice Adam Ali Ahmed has organized a swearing in ceremony for only four members of the Political Parties and Associations Registration and Approval Committee (Registration and Approval Committee –RAC).

This coming just a day after the seven-member RAC committee was tabled to the House of Representatives on Monday 23rd May.

Four members were approved with very narrow majority while three members did not get the required majority 42 votes from the 82-member House of Representatives, which is dominated by the opposition parties (52 from opposition and 30 by ruling party).

The appointment and approval process of this committee was highly contested between the government and opposition parties.

A fierce fighting between MPs from the opposition and ruling parties occurred immediately after the opening of the session of parliament on Monday.

Somaliland electoral law requires that national political parties must contest every ten years. This means that the term of the current three political parties (Kulmiye, Waddani and UCID)  is expected to end on December 26 2022.

President Muse Bihi Abdi whose five year term is ending in November has declared that political parties and associations competition organized by RAC should take place before the presidential election which is on November 13th 2022.

Opposition parties have termed this as a breach of law and are accusing the president of seeking unconstitutional term extension by putting political parties’ competition ahead of its time and before the presidential election which is the main constitutional election. 

On the other hand, the negotiation between the president, opposition political parties and their presidential candidates failed after the opposition walked out in protest on Tuesday evening a day after the disputed approval of RAC members.

On the other hand, the Voter Registration organized by the National Election Commission (NEC) has been on hold for two weeks after the President appointed an investigation committee to evaluate the conduct of the Commission.

This move which interrupted the election process was opposed by opposition parties, who view this as a move by the president to pave the way for his term extension.

They accuse him of interfering with NEC which is supposed to be independent from the government and political parties. It is not clear whether the four members that were sworn in will full mandate of RAC.

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