SOMALILAND: Waddani Party’s Paradoxical Debates-Part I


Waddani opposition party always puts forward contradictory and questionable debates to the electorate. One of the contradictory and questionable debates.

Waddani opposition party calls for a change in the status quo, but its chairman and presidential candidate Hon. Abdirahman Irro was the speaker and leader of Somaliland House of Representatives, which is one of the three branches of the state (The legislative branch, the executive branch and the Judiciary branch).

Somaliland electorate has every right to evaluate the history and previous engagements of any one who seeks  to be elected for the president of Somaliland, It is  constitutional and democratic right to shed light on his personality, leadership, political orientation, integrity, decision making, stamina, loyalty, recent history and past history.                                       

Hence, Hon. Abdulrahman Irro’s 12 year tenure as the speaker of Somaliland house of representative is sufficient enough to understand and evaluate him personally and professionally. On the other hand, how can claim to change a government you were parcel and part of. A politician failed on one branch of the government will not make sense to be awarded to lead the nation. This is one of the serious contradictory debates of Waddani opposition party.

The constitution clearly shows that the House of Representatives can initiate laws to the benefit of Somaliland citizens, without making an excuse that the executive did not bring bills to the house.

According to article 74 of Somaliland constitution bills (draft legislation may be introduced at the House of Representatives by:

  1. The council of government (the cabinet).
  2. The requisite number of members of the House of Representatives as laid down in rules passed by the house.
  3. Except for financial bills, at least 5000 (five thousand) citizens who are eligible to vote

The house of the representatives led by Hon. Abdurrahman Irro, ignored the wider interest of Somalilanders, but chose to table in acts pushed by foreign, international nongovernmental organizations and business lobbyist groups.

In light of the above background, did Abdurrahman iron failed or succeeded to exercise the constitutional powers of the house of representative to serve the interest of Somaliland citizens? , I will analyse,the bills the house should have tabled in, in the wider public interest but failed to do so, the houses check and balance apparatus, has it worked as intended or not?, as speaker of the house of representatives did he use the post for the betterment of Somalilanders or the promotion of his political agenda?, did he led the house with vision and exemplary leadership?, where his good governance and anti corruption credentials stand in light of how he managed the house and its resources?, his numerous foreign trips and quest for Somaliland recognition, can we deduce his level of patriotism in light of his leadership of the house?, is he a good decision maker and innovative leader?, Somaliland youth and the performance of the house  of representative.

The legislative bills, which the house failed to bring to the table in light of Somaliland public interest includes among others:

  1. Drug (medicine) administration and safety act.

2.Civilian staff rights act, since the rights of employees working in the private sector are constantly infringed such as working hours, pay scale, sick leave, annual leave, severance rights etc.

  1. National security act to modernize our national security apparatus, as well as the official secrets act.
  2. Public sector reform bills such as Audit reform, Tax reform, Procurement reform, financial accountability reform, justice reform, and civil service reform. For example our tax system requires reform since it is not progressive system of taxation, where the tax you pay depends on your level of income and wealth, currently the burden of taxation falls on the poor and the street dwellers, where little or none corporate and other taxes are collected from big corporations and companies making tens of millions of dollars annually as net income in various industries and economic sectors.
  3. Road safety act; nowadays it is common thing to hear road deaths every day inside big cities and between towns.
  4. Bills relating election of parliamentarians and district and regional boundaries demarcation bills.
  5. Public asset privatization act; to make sure that the proceeds from asset disposal are kept in the government treasury.
  6. Educational quality standards act.
  7. Foreign and domestic investment act.
  8. Public private partnership act.
  9. Food security and food safety act.
  10. Commercial banking act.

On the other hand, the house led by Irro, failed to follow up the acts passed by the house as far as their implementation is concerned. A case in point is the central bank act passed by the house late 2012, which plainly stipulates the powers of the central bank, its board of directors, regulation of exchange bureaus, setting up of monetary policy mechanisms. Implementation of this act would have helped us to get a solution for the conundrums of exchange fluctuations and inflation hikes. All in all, none of the acts passed by this house has been implemented and no one has followed up why it has not being implemented.

On the management of the resource of the House of Representatives, Irro failed to install an internal audit mechanism at the house, which is an international standard practice. When other parliamentarians asked him how he manages the finances of the house three years ago, he made salary and allowances increments.

Mohammed Dahir Ahmed
Mohammed Dahir Ahmed

His leadership of the House of Representatives was disastrous and wasted more than a decade of Somaliland time, which he could have made a landscape legislative reform in every sector.

In conclusion, his 12 years tenure as speaker of the house of the representatives was a curse not a blessing and he can not claim that he will make a change if he becomes a president; the worthy question is why he didn’t make a change when he was the leader of the House of Representatives.




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