Somaliland: Supreme Court passes down bold ruling on government-political parties impasse’, quashes Madasha legality

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The Somaliland High Court, today, passed down a ruling that both the government and the two national political parties welcomed.

The Court reached a verdict on a file suit the political parties submitted to the bench relating to and covering, basically, two areas: (a) that the parties, towing their Madasha ally, could hold meetings, rallies and support-based conferences in hotels which the government ruled out earlier, and (b) that they find a legal platform for what they termed as a ‘national consultation conference’ that they called for to challenge the government’s legitimacy beyond 27 July on which date its elected tenure in office comes to an end, and to annul the House of Elders’ extension of term it announced.

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Chief Justice, the Hon. Adam Haj Ali, heading the five-member Court panel. read out the five-point ruling. The ruling, in essence, maintained a fair balance in a difficult, volatile political situation although it posed no immediate threat to the country’s commendable track record in sustaining peace and stability in an unpredictable region.

The Ruling

(1) In accordance of Articles 22, 23 (2) of the national constitution and other derived, compatible by-laws, the two political parties of UCID and Waddani have the right to hold constitutionally consistent meetings/conferences and, accordingly, the Ministryt of Interior and the Police forces must refrain from denying the parties their entitled constitutional privileges.

(2) Following the Referendum on the Constitution of 2001, as is embodied in Articles 9 (1) and 130 (1), Somaliland has supplanted the clan system with a constitutional one ushering in a multi-party system. There came into being, national councils/organs (Legislative, Executive and Judiciary) to attend to outstanding national issues (in accordance with constitutional mandates). In light of this, it is utterly unlawful and illegal that any clan, political organization or any other entity call for ‘national conferences’ or ‘national consultation/salvation’ meetings that the national councils are not leading.

(3) Cognizant of the fact that the current political impasse emanates from and is based on election-related matters, the Court upon all political parties and other core institutions central to the forthcoming elections to expediently come to equitable terms to bring the quibbles on the holding of upcoming elections to a conclusive end.

(4) The Court urges all sides that this ruling concerns to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations of the nation, and to observe good ethics during and beyond election dates.

(5) This Ruling is released (and effective from) this date of 23/07/2015.

Signed:

Adam Haj Ali Chairman
Abdulkadir Ahmed Mohamoud Member
Mohamed Omar Gheelle Member
Abdirahman Madar Arraleh Member
Yassin Hassan Ismail Member
The second point completely throws out of the window the vociferous Madasha that has of late taken over the role and responsibilities of a a fumbling opposition. They have no other option but to join one or both of the opposition political parties or else face the full wrath of the public and the vice-like grip of much-heckled law enforcement bodies.

Following the decision that the Constitutional arrives at, the Minister for Interior – representing the government, the Chairman of Waddani and the Presidential candidate for UCID party all declared their satisfaction on the ruling, solemnly promising that they will fully abide by it.

The political parties only initiated the file suit against the government yesterday, 22 July 2015.

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