Pressure continued to mount on President Musa Bihi to respect the constitution as the Garhajis clan, the most populous and influential in Somaliland demanded for an inclusive and consensus-based agreement between political parties for the presidential election based on the time-span scheduled by the National Election Commission, before the 13th November 2022.
The clan which boasts of 30 percent of the parliamentary seats said the president and his deputy’s term comes to an end in November and failure to build a consensus and agreement with the key political parties “ no election will take place in territories inhabited by Garhajis clan.”
This is by far the biggest ultimatum on the president since the beginning of the year when he started showing signs of extending his term which was ultimately done by the House of Elders three weeks ago when they announced a two year extension of his term.
The Garhajis issued the ultimatum when they convened a Grand Conference named Dalwanaage in Burao between October 22- 27 with representation of all societal sectors of the clan. The conference discussed about the current political situation of Somaliland.
They said that the extension made by the Guurti for the president and the vice president was not in accordance with article 83/5 and it was not based on political understanding and agreement, therefore, Garhajis opposes any extension that is not based on the constitutions or on consensus-based political agreement.
In a statement released after the conference, the Garhajis stated: During these deliberations, it has become clear that Somaliland is on the verge of unprecedented uncertainties that put great risk to its unity and the very existence of Somaliland state, when the president deliberately ignored the constitution and governing laws of this country as well as the consultations and political accommodations that were characteristic of Somaliland approach to conflict resolution.”
They further accused the president of rejecting and failing all dialogue and mediation efforts by Somaliland’s prominent leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, top business leaders and anyone who was concerned about Somaliland in order to reach settlement to the political deadlock that has held back Somaliland democratization process and elections.
“The protracted political conflict in Somaliland can bring security risk that impacts on Somaliland and the region, therefore, Garhajis clan calls all political stakeholders and the international community to immediately intervene in order to return the government to the constitutional and legal process,” they said.
On the recent killing of demonstrators opposed to the president’s term extension, they said: “The killings and other violations including torturing committed by the government against unarmed and peaceful demonstrators were premeditated genocide. The clan is pursuing the perpetrators and calls for independent and international investigation.”
“We demand the restoration of independence and the check and balance of national institutions and separation of powers between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary branches that were the pillars of Somaliland state but now all under the president’s rule.”
“We call the government to stop interfering the free market of the economy, and the governing laws must not be politicized and manipulated in order to advance special interests.”
The clan is now calling on other clans “who value peace and unity” to stand up for the salvation of Somaliland.
Garhajis clan boasts of 25 seats out of the 82 in parliament, three mayors out of six regional areas including the capital Hargeisa.