13 September 2009

Appeal to the Somaliland President & Vice-President: Resign so the nation can get back to its democratic journey



Date: 14 September 2009

Appeal to the Somaliland President & Vice-President: Resign so the nation can get back to its democratic journey

UDDAA and Other Somaliland Diaspora Organisation appeal to the President and the Vice-President to resign so that the nation can continue peacefully with its democratisation process.

We have been following, with ever increasing dismay, the delays in the presidential and local government elections and the continual constitutional and political crises over the last four years. We are appalled to see that the reputation of Somaliland as an oasis of peace and a country built on consensus and compromise slowly being dismantled. Our democratic journey is plainly off course; citizens are in our prisons without trials and numerous journalists have been detained and imprisoned. The judiciary is firmly under the control of the executive and the legislative has been emasculated by the executive, so much so that its doors have been literally locked on the order of the President.

In the last few weeks, the House of Representatives has finally decided to debate an impeachment motion, but this again escalated to a position where the House was closed down on the orders of the President. A promise by the President given to the Elders and traditional leaders that the Representatives will be allowed to get back to their premises was not carried out and consequently citizens incensed by the continued closure of the House were shot at on Saturday, 12 September. Two died and many were injured.

The Articles of Impeachment at the House of Representatives list some of the many alleged infringements of the Constitution and the law committed by the President and the Vice President. We will not rehearse these, but it is clear to everyone that these allegations and the recurring political and constitutional crises during the last few years have set the nation back.

The presidential election has been postponed to an indefinite date. We are now yet again at another impasse, but this time, with the already twice extended terms of office of the President and the Vice President, no further extension is acceptable legally or politically. Many of us considered these previous extensions as unconstitutional and the nation will not accept another extension even if the President manages to get it through the House of Elders.

We urge that the President/Vice President act well before the end of their extended term on 29 October 2009, and let the nation know of their resignation as soon as possible so that the constitutional caretaker President can take over with the sole brief, under Article 89(4) of the Constitution, of holding the presidential elections within 60 days.

We do not think that all the problems in Somaliland are caused by the leadership of the Executive, but to paraphrase another president, the “buck stops” with them. The presidential system of government we have chosen does not mean that without elections the incumbent President who has failed to hold elections on time should forever remain in power – that is dictatorship and not democracy. We also point out that President Rayaale had ample time – 5 years as Vice-President and 7 years as President – to shape the future of the nation and it is time he and the Vice President step aside and allow the country to get back on its tracks. History will, we believe, be kinder to both of them if they spare the nation further instability.


* We ask all other Somaliland Diaspora Organisations to make the same appeal to the President and the Vice President, so we can save Somaliland from further chaos and destabilisation.
* We appeal to the friendly nations to facilitate the temporary constitutional transfer of power and to assist more boldly in both the forthcoming elections and in the provision of resources for capacity building and direct assistance to the Somaliland Parliament, so that, the latter can, for example, employ a civilian sergeant- at-arms in charge of the security of its meeting halls and premises.
* We urge all nations to assist Somaliland financially and diplomatically and to welcome it finally to the comity of nations so it can contribute more to the building of democracy, and peace and to combating of terrorism and piracy in the region.
* We send our condolences to the bereaved families in Hargeisa and our wishes to the injured. We urge the two Houses to set up as soon as practicable a joint committee to enquire into events of the last few days

Somaliland Organisations making this Appeal are:

1. UDDAA – Promotion of the Constitution Group



4. Somaliland American Council

5. East Africa Policy Institute

6. Somaliland Democracy Watch Organization (SDWO)

7. Somaliland Overseas

8. The academic of Science and development

9 . Somaliland France association

10. Somaliland Business Forum

11. Somaliland Freedom of Expression Fund (Article 32)

12. Somaliland Women Diaspora

11. Somaliland Community of Minnesota
URURKA DARYEELKA DISTOORKA (UDDAA) – Promotion of the Constitution Group – is an independent non-party political voluntary pressure group consisting of Somalilanders living in the Diaspora who believe that there is a need to promote and advance the Somaliland Constitution. Democracy, the rule of law, separation of powers and fundamental rights and freedoms are the pillars of the Constitution. UDDAA’s objective is to help articulate the growing need to challenge the misinterpretation as well as the blatant infringements of the provisions of the Constitution and to campaign for an independent judiciary that can assume confidently its proper constitutional role.

Convenors: Lulu Farah ; Khadar Ali Gaas

Adviser: Ibrahim Hashi Jama

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