Armed Policemen Enter Parliament To Aid MPs of Somaliland’s Ruling Party

HARGEISA, Somaliland (Somaliland Globe)- Around two hundred armed policemen entered Somaliland’s parliament to force the Speaker of the House to allow six legislators of the ruling party, UDUB, to attend and participate in today’s parliamentary session although the legislators were disciplined and given 3 day suspension from attending sessions.

The Speaker of the House abruptly ended today’s business when the armed policemen aiding the six legislators walked into the building of the lower house of parliament.  The legislative leadership and other members of the parliament came out of the building and protested against the police’s unwarranted intrusion into the parliament.

“Today’s Parliamentary session is cancelled following the deployment of a large contingent of police that won’t take orders from us,” said Abdurrahman Mohamed Abdillahi, Speaker of the lower house of parliament.

The police commander of Somaliland, Mohamed Saqadi Dubad, was quoted as saying that the police was “acting on orders from the president”. He also told the Speaker that his order to suspend the six legislators from attending the parliamentary sessions will not be followed.

The six disgraced legislators, who are zealously loyal to Dahir Rayale, faced a disciplinary action, according to parliamentary regulations, and were, as a result, suspended from attending three parliamentary sessions due to gross disorderly conduct. They were protesting against a parliamentary agenda which included impeachment proceedings against the president.As soon as they were given the suspension, the six fanatical loyalists joined by other pro-presidential legislators held a hastily arranged press conference yesterday at which they bizarrely “appealed to the police, the military and the minister of interior to come to their aid”.

The president had answered their appeal and directly ordered the police to force the legislative leadership to allow the six men to attend and participate in the parliamentary session without any hindrance irrespective of the Speaker’s decision.

On 24th August, the six MPs began to cause criminal damage by breaking chairs and ripping off wires in the parliament following their failure to make any amendments to the parliamentary agenda.  Consequently, they used foul language and threatening behavior against fellow members and made a spectacle of the parliament. Witnesses described the incident as an absolute disgrace and a conduct unbecoming a Member of Parliament.

Analysts point out that Rayale’s political difficulties have deepened in recent weeks and as a result he has become increasingly paranoid. He has feuded with the leaders of both Houses of parliament, breached the Electoral Law of the country by reaching a “unilateral decision” to hold the forthcoming presidential election without voter registration list, ignored donors countries’ appeal to reverse his “unwise decision” and contemptuously rebuffed a parliamentary resolution calling for him to reverse his decision within seven days.

The time remaining for Rayale to put his house in order is fast running out: his mandate will expire in October this year. He is therefore constantly haunted by the prospect of impeachment and immediate removal from office.

Somaliland Globe