Somaliland: Political Parties Turn Down President’s Invitation to Dialogue

The two opposition parties of the Republic of Somaliland turned down a presidency invitation for talks to find a way out to the prevailing, uneasy political stalemate.

His Excellency the President, Musa Bihi Abdi, sent out an olive leaf to the leaders of UCID and Waddani parties with, ostensibly, an intention to defrost the cold relations between the opposition and the government.

Faisal Ali Hussein, popularly known as Faisal Ali Waraabe, said there was no point to go to a fruitless meeting which outcome is already visible to them in black and white.

Faisal stated that the call of the president was not any different than others which preceded it.

“One cannot talk to a President who cannot distinguish the personal from the national,” he said.

Faisal, speaking on behalf of the opposition, threatened to withdraw all allegiance to President Bihi’s leadership if the President did not quickly and credibly change his ways.

President Bihi – but not for the first, the second or the third time – made a habit of appearing to be looking for solutions on critical issues, including an increasingly worsening relations among political parties, only to escalate them with his tendency to open the talks, lead the proceedings and dictate the outcome all by himself without giving space to the other side as observers point out.

On the behest of the President, critics claim, the Upper House of the Somaliland bicameral parliament – the Guurti – gave itself a three-year extension of an already long-overdue term in office after it granted two more years to its twin – the House of Representatives – two more years making their unelected overstay in House 9 years atop their first 5-year elected term.

The nation expected Municipal and parliamentary elections early next year. Deep dismay pervaded the whole nation after news of the constitutionally unjustified extensions was aired.

International parties expressed disappointment on the extensions made and the unwarranted persistent delays to planned elections.