Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 22, 2006 – Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin has escalated his confrontation with the House of Representatives (lower house of Parliament) by refusing to put into effect at least 3 laws that had been passed by the legislators on last month.
The 82-seat House is controlled by the opposition alliance formed by UCID and KULMIYE parties which together won 49 seats.
Due to their majority, the opposition legislators were able to choose the house speaker Abdirahman Erro and his two deputies, Abdul Aziz Samale and Bashe Farah, from among their ranks. Though house leaders have demonstrated that they wanted to cooperate with the president by passing the highly controversial 2006 budget bill subject to minor changes, however the gesture was not reciprocated by Mr. Rayale.
The president ignored a house decision ordering the payment of indemnities for families whose members had been killed, injured or suffered property losses as a result of damage during a confrontation between armed security personnel and a group of civilians that took place in Hargeysa hospital’s compound on last December.
One person was killed while over 30 people were injured as policemen fired on angry stone-throwing youth who refused to retrieve the body of a relative who was killed in a land dispute unless the perpetrator was brought to justice. The House demanded that the administration make a public apology for the incident and take the necessary steps for compensating the victims for losses and damages sustained.
Though the budget bill was passed without much scrutiny on March 21, however the president signed it into law only on last Thursday. It was not clear yet whether the president authorized fulfillment of the whole budget document including the amendments introduced by the house.
Last month the house resolved that Care International reconsider its earlier decision to cancel the appointment of Amino-Weris, a Somaliland citizen who was offered a job as team leader for Hargeysa’s Care office. President Rayale and a number of senior government officials were believed to have been behind Care’s decision to withdraw the offer.
Meanwhile the Somaliland Times has learned that president deliberately sought confrontation with opposition legislators in order to instigate a change in the house leadership.
According to sources in the government and the legislature, the president thinks that the opposition cannot be trusted. Mr. Rayale tried to discredit the election of the house speaker and his two deputies back in November as illegal. The attempt triggered a countrywide backlash that forced him to back down.
The president was said to be afraid that the house might conduct investigations into government finance, controversial oil deals and a meeting he recently had with a member of the TFG parliament in Somalia.
Concerned that he might be implicated to stand impeachment before his term expires, Mr. Rayale was said to be paranoid that the opposition was trying to remove him from office.
Source: Somaliland Times