In what is being seen as a move to forestall the election amendment bill, Somaliland House of Elders has rejected to accent to the bill brought to it by the House of Representatives due to what they term as a violation of house bylaws.
Instead, the House of Elders which is largely made up of President Muse Bihi’s supporters has sent the law back to the House of Representatives for further debate.
The law sought to alter the rules governing organizations and political parties. It had suggested that the Presidential and political associations elections be held simultaneously.
President Bihi who is under pressure to have the Presidential elections held in November has previously stated that the political associations elections should be held first before the presidential elections are held. This in essence means the earliest time presidential elections can be held will be in June next year.
The House of elders stated that their decision was based on a complaint from 46 MPs, who argued that the vote violated House bylaws.
The amendment was presented to the House of Elders on September 19, following a contentious vote. The House of elders stated that their decision to send the legislation back was based on a complaint from 46 MPs, who argued that the vote violated House bylaws.
“We determined that this amendment should not be placed before the house and should be returned to the House of Representatives after consulting with the house’s lawyer,” the House of Elders said in a statement.
The election law amended by the House of Representatives allows the presidential election and the formation of political organizations to be held simultaneously.
The parliamentary speaker called off the House of Representatives session on Saturday after lawmakers from the opposition, and the government disagreed on the legality of the election law amendment.
The electoral commission of Somaliland announced on Saturday that the presidential election would be postponed due to “technical and financial reasons,” according to the electoral commission.
The commission did not specify a new date, only stating that there would be a “nine-month delay beginning October 1, 2022.”
Muse Bihi Abdi was elected President for a five-year term in 2017, and the election was set for November 13, a month before his term expires.