The extension of the term of office for Somaliland MPs and member of the Elders’ Council ( Guurti) has lifted political pressure off the shoulders of Somaliland President, Muse Bihi Abdi, who celebrated in November the second anniversary of his term in office.
The Council of Elders expedited the term of extension for Somaliland’s two institutions key to the political processes.
The two opposition parties, Waddani and UCID, rejected the term extension. A Hargeisa-based consultative forum known as Madasha ( The Forum) made up of prominent Somalilanders deplored what they view as authoritarian turn in Somaliland leadership.
Somaliland political parties have been at loggerheads over he the time-frame to hold parliamentary elections in 2020. The UNSOM Chief, James Swan, in his statement to the UN Security Council, urged consensus to hold parliamentary elections – a milestone in Somaliland political calendar.
The term extension for the Parliament and the Council of Elders gives President Bihi a breathing-space. The sticking-point in negotiations to hold parliamentary elections was the make-up of the electoral commission. Waddani insisted on the replacement of a member of the commission. Members of the new electoral commission of Somaliland took oath a in November and are likely to oversee parliamentary elections that will take place in 2020, if opposition parties change their mind.