Standoff between Somaliland parliament speakers over elections bill

News Politics Somaliland

The Speakers of the two houses of the bicameral parliament of Somaliland are speaking in different voices over the election bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last week.

The bill which proposes to have the presidential and political associations elections held simultaneously was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives and forwarded for debate at the senate.

However, on Monday, the speaker of the senate Suleiman Mohamoud Adan sent back the bill to the House of Representatives after what he termed as complains by some parliamentarians over the manner in which the bill sailed through.

In a letter he signed, Monday, he stated that the Guurti had no place for fresh wrangles borne out of a bill he deemed contentious.

But the speaker of the House of Representatives Abdrizak Khalif Ahmed has refused to accept the letter from the speaker of the House of Elders (Guurti).

The House of Representatives speaker said the Guurti speaker should abide by the constitutional procedure mandated to the upper House which grants it to deliberate on bills passed to it by the Lower House as members see fit.

“I ask the Honourable Speaker to go by the established, constitutional procedure and process the bill passed to him amending or amend it as they see fit,” the HoR Speaker stated.

While both speakers said they would resolve the impasse, there are fears the presidency has a hand in the confusion. While parliament is controlled by the opposition, the senate is made up of President Bihi’s supporters.

The standoff between the two adds to the political tension that has been growing in the country due to the presidential elections.

The opposition has been piling pressure to have the elections held in November but the President says the elections will be preceded by political orgaisations elections.

The National Electoral Commission weighed itself in on Saturday when it announced it lacked the capacity to have the elections in November and suggested to have it pushed to July next year.

The (NEC) said it needed nine more months starting from October 1st to hold the Presidential election citing technical and financial impediments.

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