Somalia: Puntland MPs reject court ruling on extension, deepening election crisis
GAROWE, Somalia - Somalia's northeastern state of Puntland is facing a deepening crisis after its parliament rejected a constitutional court ruling that dismissed term extension for the sitting lawmakers.
Over the weekend, the legislators passed a motion that proposed their term for another year, practically ruling out any plans for an election next month. The move is against the decision by President Said Abdullahi Deni to go to an indirect election on 8th January.
But their selfish move was thwarted by the Constitutional Court, which rejected term extension, terming it 'illegal and inconsequential'. The court referred to existing laws of the state.
However, in an act of defiance and disrespect to the court order, the assembly dismissed the Constitutional Court's findings as 'void' on Monday, which effectively triggered an election crisis in the state. The court violated various provisions of the law including fair hearing, the MPs said.
Abdirashid Jibril, the speaker of the parliament insisted that the court did not adhere to the laid provisions, adding that it acts to prejudice the lawmakers.
Lawmakers have been working closely with Deni, who is also accused of plotting to mutilate electoral laws in his favor, by extending his term contrary to the law. The term of the current executive and Parliament ends in January 2024 when elections are supposed to be held.
The opposition has been pushing to have timely elections, a move that almost attained the right footing after Deni agreed to hold indirect elections.
The current deadlock could escalate should Parliament persist with the demands to extend the term, even as the opposition and government push for the January 8th elections.