The Guurti Extension decision of the terms of office of all three legislative Houses for 22 months, ushered Somaliland into a situation of constitutional crisis.
To address this crisis situation, the Presidency came under intense pressure from all national and international stakeholders, to call for a national consultation process between the Government/ ruling party and the opposition parties.
As a result of these consultations, an agreement was hammered out and signed in the Presidency, which set a new compromise date for the election to be held in the first two weeks of November, 2016, as opposed to the date set by the Guurti to be 27th April, 2017. In that Agreement, the National Electoral Commission was tasked to set the new date within the above parameters.
The Presidency which sponsored the consultations, was expected to implement the outcome Agreement, and to align its terms with the existing laws governing the election process. However, the Presidency so far:
Did not work on the Guurti and its Chairman to bring them on board with the agreement
Did not sign the agreement into a degree to establish the new election date.
Did not pass it to the Supreme Court as a possibility to override the Guurti decision. There was a precedence during Rayal’e presidency of engaging the Supreme Court in such a situation.
Did not communicate to the National Electoral Commission, the agreed new election date.
The above agreement was realized through the efforts of Somaliland civic community including prominent business people, the religious leaders, the traditional leadership and the public at large. It was also facilitated by the efforts of the international community, which expended a lot of energy to engage the Silanyo Government to avoid impending political and constitutional crisis, which can result from the uncompromising and unilateral stance of the Guurti. It should be noted that, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, on his visit to Hargeisa on the 27th May, 2015, has contributed significantly to bring the different sides to the table and to facilitate the signing of this consensus Agreement.
However, it is now close to a month since the Agreement was signed on 27 May, 2015 and the Presidency cannot show any results to have implemented the agreement and is not showing any commitment to do so. Furthermore, the Guurti Chairman is continuing to insist on his extension terms. Therefore, the Opposition Coalition comprising of the WADDANI and UCID parties and the National Forum held a meeting on the 24th of June, 2015 at Mansoor Hotel, to declare that the Government has failed to implement the Agreement and therefore the Coalition is weighing its options for action, especially in consideration of the impending expiration of the term of office of the President and his Government on this Friday, 27 June, 2015.
Furthermore, the Opposition Coalition calls for:
- The Somaliland people to be committed to their democratic right to elections and to hold the government accountable for the present constitutional crisis situation, which is casting shadow over the integrity of the national government and its legitimacy.
- The national civic community, to put pressure on the Silanyo Presidency as they did on the opposition parties, to implement the national consensus framework agreement on the election date and to avert the deepening constitutional crisis in the country.
- The international community to strengthen its commitment to Somaliland democratic process and to use the leverage of its good offices, to assist Somaliland come out of this deepening constitutional crisis situation.
WADDANI Foreign Relations Office
Dr. Mohamed Fadal