Corrupt Somaliland, Somalia´s Most Chaotic Spot. Part II Scandalous Euro-bribery in Favor of Riyaale
Many have been surprised by the calamitous development that occurred when last Wednesday, the upper house of parliament in Somalia's breakaway republic of Somaliland has opened up debate on President Dahir Riyale's request for a two-month term extension to rule the region until the May 31 presidential election.
US$16 million for bribery
There is no reason to be taken by surprise; this development merely reflects the colonial involvement in the lawless pseudo-state Somaliland. The most recent form of involvement took the tragic-comical appearance of a donation of some US$16 million supposed to help the voter-registration process, which was never completed, nor will it be.
Due to colonial Anglo-French pressure and because of the paranoid atmosphere that prevails in Europe, this amount of money, which belongs to European taxpayers, was finally given to an illegal and unrecognized government without any EU control and without any guarantee that it will reach its correct recipients and fulfill its announced purpose.
The murderous gangster Riyaale simply withheld the money, threatened the Elders for a while, and then bribed ca. 30 members of the upper parliament of So-mafi-land. Finally, each of the bribed "elders" (Mafia lords is their correct appellation) got ca. US$ 500000; like this, they – having no authority – "authorize" Riyaale to prolong his tyranny. Their benefit is that they will be able to pay their staffers and militias to further protect them over the next few months.
Who knows? Perhaps now the Guurti chairman will have some money to pay his webmaster to update their absolutely irrelevant and virtually ridiculous website whereby the …… latest piece of news dates back to 30 November 2008 (http://www.guurti.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=category§ionid=1&id=1&Itemid=2).
With this scandalous Euro-bribery of 30 selected "elders", the secessionist tyrant will get further extension of his already illegal tenure, and the people of Somaliland will have no chance to demonstrate their total rejection of the Hargeisa gang. The crisis will certainly escalate to a nightmarish level unknown even in Mogadishu.
I republish herewith several reports that bear witness to the shameful developments in Northern Somalia whereby 42 MPs voted to extend the term for the President and the Vice President, 35 MPs rejected the vote, 1 MP abstained and the Guurti Chairman did not vote. In addition, I republish a story about the arrest of 4 reporters by the tyrannical regime of Hargeisa – in a way to express deep thanks to the European Union for their majestic hypocrisy that supports Democracy in Europe and Tyranny in Africa.
In several forthcoming articles, I will expand on the subject.
Somaliland Lawmakers Exchange Blows In Vicious Fistfight
London, 27 March 2009 (Somaliland Today)- A vicious fistfight erupted in the upper chamber of Somaliland´s parliament on Wednesday, as Abdirahman Qawdhan who is opposed to an extension of president Rayale´s term of office landed a series of punches on Mr. Dheg who is an avid backer of the president.
The scuffles broke out when the chairman of the upper chamber of the parliament, Suleiman Mohamoud Aden, began to read out a letter submitted by president Rayale to the parliament in which he requested for an extension of his term of office, which expires on 6th April, as well as the approval of the date set by the National Electoral Commission for presidential election- 31st May 2009.
While Mr. Qawdhan was embroiled in a vicious brawl with Mr. Dheg, another lawmaker, Mr. Said Yasir, who is also believed to be an ardent supporter of Rayale, jumped on Mr.Qawdhan and involved himself in nasty punch-ups and pushing.
Yasir later said, according to HAATUF, that he was ´only trying to intervene and prevent from further fighting´- an explanation rejected by Mr. Qawdhan as misleading.
President Rayale was elected on 14 April 2003 for five years, which ended on 14 April 2008. However, he failed to hold the presidential election at the scheduled date because the European Union insisted on voter registration in Somaliland before conducting any election. As a result, Rayale was granted a one-year extension of term of office ending 6 April 2009. However, he is still unable to hold the presidential election because of ´bureaucratic and logistical´ reasons cited by the National Electoral Commission- an agency described by many as a pliant body that takes its orders from the president.
There is serious disagreement in the upper chamber of the parliament between those who want to have the president´s term of office extended and those who adamantly oppose it like Mr. Qawdhan.
In another development, Ibrahim Jama Ali (Rayte), a lawmaker from the lower chamber of the parliament was involved in punch- up with Mohamed Muse Diriye, head of the Somaliland government´s TV.
Meanwhile, the nation holds its breath to wait and see what resolution members of the upper chamber of the parliament reaches in the days to come.
Somaliland President receives another term extension
Hargeisa, Somalia Mar 28 (Garowe Online) - The leader of Somalia's breakaway state of Somaliland received a term extension Saturday, in a vote that is likely to deepen the region's ongoing election crisis, Radio Garowe reports.
Somaliland's upper house of parliament, the House of Guurti, held an extraordinary session in the regional capital Hargeisa, with 79 MPs present including Guurti Chairman Saleban "Gal" Mohamud.
Some 20 Guurti MPs offered heated speeches, introducing two opposite motions.
The first motion indicated that the administration of President Dahir Riyale's term in office expires on April 6, arguing that there is "no emergency" such as war, drought or other natural disaster to warrant another delay of the much-expected presidential election.
This motion's supporters accused President Riyale of failing to hold elections on time, while calling for the establishment of a caretaker government to rule Somaliland until the election.
The second motion stated that the Somaliland election commission could not organize the election on time, citing the Oct. 2008 suicide bombings in Hargeisa that targeted the office of President Riyale among others.
Further, the pro-Riyale lawmakers in the House of Guurti argued that there is an ongoing drought in some regions of Somaliland, saying that the current government should receive a term extension to overcome such challenges.
Mr. Saleban Gal, the Guurti Chairman, then said the lawmakers would vote on the political future of Riyale's government.
"Of the present lawmakers, 42 MPs voted to extend the term for the President and the Vice President, 35 MPs rejected the vote, 1 MP abstained and I did not vote," the Guurti Chairman announced.
As the chairman declared the vote results, his two deputies – Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Nur and Said Abdullahi – sat next to him.
Somaliland opposition parties Kulmiye and UCID have not formally responded to President Riyale's term extension.
But Mr. Ahmed Silanyo, the Kulmiye party's presidential candidate and the opposition leader, has vowed not to recognize Riyale's government after April 6.
Security was extra tight in and around the parliament building in Hargeisa, as police and military units kept close watch as the House of Guurti held its most important vote to date.
In 2008, Guurti MPs voted in favor of extending Riyale's constitutional five-year term in office by one additional year, with opposition parties accepting the term extension on grounds that the presidential election be held on March 29, 2009.
Somaliland: Guurti Vote Extends President´s Term
The Upper House of Parliament, Guurti, has voted to pass a controversial bill that will allow Riyale to stay in office unelected for six more months.
Some Guurti members briefly debated the bill prior to voting, giving the impression that most members already made a decision on how they were going to vote.Those who were against bill, urged members to turn down the bill on the grounds that the country is not in an emergency that can justify an extension.
Under the constitution, the president´s term can only be extended if the country is in a state of war, or if there is one of many catastrophic disasters that prevents elections such as a serious and widespread famine or a disastrous earthquake.
The bill passed by 42 to 35 margin with one abstention. By law the House leader who chaired the extra-ordinary session does not vote.
This extension brings the total term extension for the president since his elected term in office ended last year, to 18 months.
It is not known what effect this bill may have on the current scheduled date for the presidential election. The National Election Commission promised to hold the election on May 31 after postponing it for the fourth time since April 2008.
A large number of people who gathered around were unable to get close to the building that houses the Guurti due to police reinforcements who closed access to the area for traffic and pedestrian.
Some of the people who gathered in the area and who were not yet aware of the outcome of the vote, expressed their dismay at the possibility of extension of the president´s term. Mr Luul Mohamed Abdillahi who spoke to a reporter from Horyaal Radio said "I see this debate as an affront to our future. [An extension] can destabilize the country. I am totally against this bill, Guurti is debating the future of all these people you see around you".
Omar Daud Ibrahim and Hassan Mohamed Muse who were among the crowd expressed similar views opposing the bill. Mr Ibrahim said "This bill is unconstitutional. Riyale says only an elected president can replace him, but he is no longer an elected president because his term ended in April 2008″.
Meanwhile a pro-UDUB demonstration was held in another part of the city in which senior members of the party participated with a group of women and young people who were brought to the location by buses. The demonstrators who waved UDUB flag included some high profile members of the party such as the Hargeisa city Mayor, Hussein Mohamoud Jiciir.
The Interior Minister, Abdillahi Ismail (Cirro), last night warned what he called people planning to hold "illegal" demonstrations from going ahead with their plans. His warning was directed at a rumored anti-extension demonstration supposed to be held today. However, no action was taken to prevent the pro-UDUB demonstration that was apparently held in support of the extension.
Somaliland Government Arrests 4 Reporters
The police in Somaliland detained and released four reporters from the independent Horyaal Radio. The reporters, who were all released tonight, were detained between late Friday and early hours Saturday morning.
The reporters, Mr. Abdi Abokor, Mr. Duale Mohamed, Mr. Liban Mawell Shirreh and Ahmed Suleiman Doholl were either involved in their routine daily reporting work or where at home when they were arrested separately in Hargeisa.
The police did not give a reason for the arrests but some of the detained reporters said they were investigating reports of government using money to buy votes of members of the Guurti.
Mr Doholl and Mr Shirreh were also arrested in the past by the authorities accusing them of running a clandestine radio.
The vote on Saturday by the Upper House of Parliament to controversially extend president Riyale´s term of office, has created a tense political atmosphere in Somaliland.
Picture: Chaotic scenes outside the Guurti premises at Hargeisa.