Somaliland: Case against Parties Registration Committee Commences
The high court sitting in Hargeisa has commenced hearing of a case between 9 political groups and the Political Parties Registration and Verification Committee-PPR&VC.
Though the case that opened at the high court was jointly presented by five of the 9 political groups namely NDB, UDHIS, GURMAD, JAMHURIGA and HORYAL
In their case the political groups accuse the PPR&VC of having acted unconstitutionally when it disqualified 9 groups out of 15 following a nationwide verification exercise. The groups claim that they have documents and audio visual proving that they compiled with all verification requirements as established in article 14.
The Prof Yusuf Ismail Ali Five Judge bench hearing the case informed that it will hear and make judgment on individual merit of each of the five group’s case and not jointly.
The judges thus heard arguments from the UDHIS political group’s legal team and counter arguments from the government’s legal team in proceedings that took over two hours. Flanked by his legal team the UDHIS leader Mujahidin Ibrahim Abdilahi Hussein “Dagahweyne”
The UDHIS legal team is made up of lawyers Mustafa Mohamed, Hasan Saeed and Ibrahim Hussein Abdilahi while the government team includes Solicitor General Ibrahim Eidle Suleiman and Ahmed Jama.
At the end of proceedings the chief justice Dr Yusuf Ismail Ali said that judgment will be delivered soon and that the court will similarly listen to arguments by the other four groups next being HORYAL followed by JAMHURIGA.
Since the controversial decision by the PPR&VC the consortium of parties members have embarked on diverse means to reclaim what they term as denied constitutional and democratic rights. These activities include demonstrations by their supporters that have been broken through might of force by security forces in a number of towns in the country. The demonstrations have also seen MS Fozia of NDB, Sandoon of Jamhuriga and Sh Madar of UDHIS spent a couple of hours as guests of the government following their arrest by police in Hargeisa.
During His independence day speech to the nation on 18th May president Silanyo urged the disqualified groups to accept the PPR&VC decision thus facilitate ease of holding forthcoming general elections, citing himself as an example after he accept defeat in 2003 presidential elections that he lost in a margin of 80 votes.
In response to the president’s urgings, the chairperson of the consortium of disfranchised political parties MS Fozia H Aden said the groups were treated illegally and will not rest until they attain their quest for constitutional, human and democratic rights which are enshrined in the country’s constitution.
She termed the 2003 defeat of current president Silanyo by a margin of 80 votes by former President Dahir Rayale as legal and acceptable because the defeat came via an election, Said she, “our defeat is illegal and unconstitutional because it comes not only before elections are held but before even the date of holding the elections is known”
Now that the High court has commenced the case of the disfranchised groups against the PPR&VC it is hoped that the chief justice will expedite hearing thus settle the dispute once for all, as continued controversy might impinge on successful local council elections not to mention prevalent security
Detailed below are reasons behind each of the nine groups’ disqualification as viable political entities by the PPR&VC
1. SSCD : Opened Only one office in Maroodi Jeeh (Hargeisa) Region while it failed to present 1000 registered party members in any region
2. DAMAL : Did not have functioning offices nor 1000 registered members in Sahil, Togdheer and Sanaag regions
3. NUUR: Did not have functioning offices in Sahil and Sanaag while it did not present 1000 registered members in all regions apart from Maroodi Jeeh (Hargeisa)
4. JAMHUURIYA : Did not have functioning offices in Sahil and Togdheer while it did not present 1000 registered members in all regions apart from Maroodi Jeeh (Hargeisa)
5. NDB: Did not have functioning offices in Sahil and Togdheer while it did not present 1000 registered members in Sahil, Sanaag and Sool regions.
6. HORYAAL: Did not have functioning offices in Sahil and Sool while it did not present 1000 registered members in Sahil and Sanaag regions.
7. UDHIS: Did not have functioning offices in Sanaag and Sool while it did not present 1000 registered members in Togdheer and Sanaag regions.
8. BADBADHO: Did not have functioning office in Sool while it did not present 1000 registered members in Sool and Sanaag regions.
9. GURMAD: Did not have functioning office in Sool while it did not present 1000 registered members in Awdal region.