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Tuesday June 26th 2012

Somaliland: Constitutional Crisis Must be Averted

By M.A. Egge

Hargeisa (Somaliland Net) The government has got to immediately dissolve the local authorities’ country-wide, in order to avert constitutional crisis following the expiry of their tenure last night.This technical move would save face for a country whose perfection of democratic processes hence transition from traditional pacification council has made it a household name not only in Africa or the developing countries, but world-wide at large. Given that the legal ramifications are gaping holes whose gores has the National Electoral Commission (NEC) as causative agents, the Presidency should not be wrongly accused and blindly for that matter.So far no publication or associated media house has pinpointed the main culprits who have subjected the country today to bear the brunt of the constitution crisis that we are sailing in that will dent our impeccable democratic record. The NEC ought to have highlighted to the members of the public about the short comings in the deadline dates hence legally request the Head of State for prompt action. It is to this effect that the President NOTIFIES the Upper House (Guurti) of our National Assemblies Parliament to take heed of the matter and nobly do the necessary so as to operate within the prescribed regulations of the Statutory Acts of the constitution of the land.

Of course it is definitely clear that since the late re-opening of the multi-parties and their on going registration processes, it was impossible, completely impossible, for the elections to have been held by (before) the 7th of April 2012 (thus yesterday).Now that the inevitable has happened it should be not a question of playing blaming games or pointing accusing fingers, but rather, the damage should be swiftly managed.Nowhere in our constitution prescribes that elected councilors must be replaced by similarly elected civic councilors especially when they are technically operating illegally.T

he question out there for the government and the people is what legal criteria is the next option whose way out would state vividly, and of course candidly, our supremacy in constitutional management.In other words the Head of State has to dissolve all civic councils and replace them with interim commissions.

Thereafter, the peoples of the land have to settle their bone of contention with the NEC through the lower House of Representatives and either reprimand or impeach them. Either way, the NEC or both houses of the National Assemblies Parliament ought to come out clear and not demean our status by denting our name and integrity.
After all they should have delved into the matter long before hand and in time to have had issues in check for that is what they are paid for and are supposed to do.
It may as well be rightly argued that the parliamentarians have failed us as the peoples’ watchmen.

When the country’s name is tinged and adulterated with smirk it is the people, their country and their Presidency that is besmirched and plastered with dirt.
It is therefore best that we stop blaming the Presidency for short comings and indiligence that may have as well emanated from the NEC; surely they must have gone public and put records straight earlier on.

As a nation, the government is there of the people, by the people and, most importantly, for the people.Since all Somalilanders are aggrieved by the constitutional crisis created, the President should do the necessary and save the nation’s face by doing the necessary as per constitution.

The media on the other hand should research, verify and attributed issues as per etiquette other than play whimsical tunes on their strings.
When the NEC and five cabinet members met last week (in camera), it was clear that the ramification of the constitutional was a prime agenda at their tête-à-tête round table.

That or anything else does not let the NEC off-the-hook for they are subject to public service protocols. Given the sensitivity of the issue and its potential explosive, repercussions are risked since it would only add ammunitions to the arsenals of opposition rhetoric.Electioneering issues are definitely dynamite issues that institutions should not be left to cause havoc unnecessarily.

The writer Mr Mohamed Ahmed Egge is the Editor of The Horn Tribune, a weekly English newspaper published by the Dawan media group in Hargeisa, Somaliland

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