Mediation efforts to have the Somaliland government hold presidential elections on time went a notch higher with the traditional leaders and members of the house of elders (Guurti) forming a combined Commitee.
The team is now expected to meet with the government and opposition to chart a way foward on the political impasse occasioned by what the opposition parties termed as the government’s failure to commit to holding presidential elections by the November date.
The formation of the joint Commitee comes just four days after President Musa Bihi held a meeting with the traditional leaders and the civil society members on Tuesday but the issue of the elections was brushed aside.
The traditional leaders and the civic society are concerned about the growing political tension in the country following calls for mass action by the opposition to push the government to have the presidential elections held in November.
The opposition is not comfortable with the Guurti house handling the election impasse mediation because most of the members are staunch Bihi supporters.
A statement from the presidency after the meeting indicated: “Finally, the meeting ended in a positive atmosphere, and it was agreed that the House of Elders, which is legally responsible for resolving disputes in Somaliland, should be in charge of this task, and we should wait for them to tell us how to proceed.”
The opposition parties Waddani and UCID maintain they will only support talks if the government is ready to give a clear roadmap to the elections.Political tension remains high in Somaliland with the opposition threatening to return to the streets to hold protests and demonstrations if the government fails to commit to holding the presidential elections by November.