Chaos erupts in Somaliland's parliament months after elections
HARGEISA, Somalia - Drama dominated Somaliland's parliament for the better part of Monday with MPs from rival political parties wrestling, in a rare encounter within the breakaway region of Somalia, which claims to be independent of Mogadishu.
According to local media, the chaos was triggered by the recent announcement by the government of President Muse Bihi Abdi that his administration will continue with the registration of more political parties ahead of the presidential election.
Reports indicate that the opposition parties led by Abdirahman Irro's Wadani party and the UCID party opposed the amendment tabled by information minister Saleban Ali Koore on Sunday allowing the registration of new political parties.
The information minister, a top bureaucrat in the government whose tenure ends in 2022, said Bihi has "honoured the wish of the people" to enable the registration of new political parties.
In this secessionist region, only three parties; UCID, Waddani, and the ruling Kulmiye are allowed by law to exist. The Three parties have been competing as the region pushes for democratization while pushing for International recognition.
But the Bihi administration is pushing for the amendment of the Political Parties Law to allow for more parties to be registered. It was not immediately clear why the opposition rejected the move but calmness has been restored.
In May this year, Somaliland held parliamentary and local elections which saw the opposition floor Kulmiye Party. Wadani and UCID parties secured 52 parliamentary seats of the 83 which were available.