Somaliland Police In Show Of Force As Angry People Pour Into Parliament

Outside Somaliland parliament [Aug. 29,2009] Hundred of angry but peaceful protesters have poured into the surroundings of the parliament in Hargeisa today following the intervention of yesterday’s parliamentary session by police who had claimed they were “acting under direct orders of the president”.

Armed policemen yesterday forced the Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, Abdirahman Mohammed Abdillahi, to allow six of the president’s zealous loyalists, who were suspended for 3 days from sessions to attend and participate in the parliamentary session irrespective of the Speaker’s disciplinary decision.

Somalilanders were up in arms over the police intrusion into the affairs of the parliament.

Hundreds of people came out on the streets today to stand shoulder to shoulder with their parliamentarians to stave off any attempt by the police to enter the parliament.

It was a message of “keep your hands off our parliament,” says a witness

Armed policemen barricaded the main roads leading to the presidential palace and took positions in various places of the city centre.

The legislative leadership set up a committee to look into some security concerns raised by members of the House and also investigate into the events that led up to the police intrusion into parliament yesterday. The Speaker then announced that the parliament will reconvene after two days.

As soon as the legislators came out of the parliament’s building, scores of protesters advanced to the parliament’s direction at which point the police began firing live bullets on the people, dispersing them to all directions. Amazingly, no one was hurt.

A confrontation of this sort is likely to repeat itself in the coming days as protest gathers momentum countrywide.

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”, turned a deaf ear to donor 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 and an impeachment hangs over his head.

He is a drowning man desperately clutching at straws, and dragging the nation under with him.

Source/ Somalilandglobe