(Waridaad) - By Hussein Ali Noor
HARGEISA, Somalia (Reuters) - The government of the breakaway Somali republic of Somaliland on Saturday arrested three politicians planning to form an opposition party, in a move diplomats said could hurt its bid for sovereignty.
Security forces arrested the leader of the Qaran political association, Mohamed Abdi Gaboose, and his deputies Mohamed Hashi Elmi and Jamal Aideed Ibrahim, and charged them with founding an illegal organization and creating instability.
A regional court ordered the three held at Mandera prison.
Somaliland permits by law only three political parties, a situation which Qaran has criticised repeatedly.
It wants voter registration -- due earlier this month -- to go ahead so that it can gain the numbers it needs to be among the three legally recognised parties ahead of presidential elections due on April 15.
All three existing parties, including that of President Dahir Rayale Kahin, oppose that.