Tuesday May 6 – NEC Forges A Close Working Relationship With Riyale, Proposing A New Timetable Pre-approved By Him
Reports are coming out that the remaining National Election Commission (NEC) members, all UDUB appointed, have written to the Chairman of the Parliament Abdirahman M. Abdillahi, who has been mediating between the political parties regarding the election schedules. Reports says, the 4 member NEC is seeking to further delay the date for the presidential elections already agreed between them and the three political parties. The NEC is now proposing the new date as January 29th, which they call a “middle ground” between the unlawfully suggested Guurti date of April 2009 and the date when the elections should have been held which is by 14 April of this year. This suggests the new role of the NEC is changing from a neutral agency that discharges its duty in line with the rules, to a one that negotiates a “middle ground” position.
Ironically the report says Riyale has already agreed to that timetable, while the opposition parties are only learning of this new proposal just now. This confirms the already known working relationship between Riyale/UDUB party and the remaining NEC members, all them appointed by Riyale himself, that has now morphed into one that puts the opposition parties in the dark on the issues before they become NEC agenda. Clearly this report, if true, would depict a picture of a neutral agency that has taken the a new role of negotiating on behalf of UDUB party, which will throw into question the integrity of this agency.
Tuesday May 6 – Opposition KULMIYE party wants to address the public
The opposition KULMIYE party is calling on the public to join them tomorrow in an event in which the party plans to address the public at its headquarters.
The party leaders did not indicate on what issues its leaders intend to address the public, but they are expected to speak about Riyale’s 5-year term that will officially come to an end on May 15.
Both opposition parties repeatedly said that they will not recognize Riyale as a president once his term expires in May.
On its part, Riyale administration threatened to use “necessary” measures, interpreted as a foce, to stop what it calls illegal gatherings. In one recent incident at least two civilians were killed after the police fired live ammunitions on demonstrators in Hargeisa, which started after officials in one Hargiesa district changed its name which then angered the district residents. Other reports say the demonstration swelled and gathered pace as people marched towards the city center overwhelming the police. Some of the people who joined the demonstration were clearly angry about the recent tax hike by up to 50% on imports at Berbera port. The cost of gas (petrol) and other necessary foodstuffs in Somaliland has skyrocketed recently. The cost of gas has gone up in line with the rest of the world but also because Riyale administration has given exclusive rights to a local company called TOTAL on oil import and supply, as a result the price and supply of oil in Somaliland is subject to the amount of oil released for sale by TOTAL.
Sunday May 4 – NEC Deputy-chairman Resigns From His Post, Questions Arise Whether The Agency Can Remain Neautral
Four members of the NEC, the UDUB appointed block, voted to demote Hersi Ali H. Hassan relieving him of his title as the Deputy-chairman of the NEC. Hersi is one of two officials appointed by the opposition political parties, KULMIYE and UCID. Hersi resigned from the NEC because he disagreed with the reasoning behind this move.
The position of the UCID appointed official remains in limbo as Riyale refuses to grant a request made by both the NEC and UCID party to replace him citing conflict arising from his conduct.
The NEC now becomes an exclusively UDUB appointed body.