Somaliland’s newly-elected MPs will hold Today (Tuesday, August 03, 2021) an opening procedural session of the new House of Representatives to take the constitutional oath and elect a speaker and two deputies.
The opening session of the new the House of Representatives will be chaired by the eldest member in the House. The session will formally commence at 9:00 a.m. local time which will be held at the parliamentary building in Hargeisa.
Article 44 (3) of the Somaliland Constitution grants the Chairman of the Supreme Court the right to open the first sitting of a newly elected parliament and administer the constitutional oath.
“The new House shall be opened by the Chairman of the Supreme Court who shall administer the oath of office to the members. The meeting of the House shall then be chaired by the oldest member (in age), and the House shall then elect, from amongst its members, a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers.”
According to Article 129 of the constitution, each newly-elected MP should take the oath as follows: “I swear by Allah that I shall be true to the Islamic Religion and my Somaliland country, and shall manage my people in equity and justice so long as I hold office.”
Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi set the date for the opening session of the newly-elected House of Representatives to be held on Tuesday.
Presidential decree marked MS/GDD/28/2021 on Sunday stated that the session will officially take place on Tuesday after Somaliland’s Supreme Court ratified the results of the parliamentary elections.
Article 44 (1) of the Somaliland Constitution grants the President the right to call the first sitting of a newly elected parliament to order within 30- days of the day the Supreme (Constitutional) Court validates the final results and names of newly-elected MPs.
“The new House shall hold its inaugural meeting within 30 (thirty) days from the date when the electoral results are declared and shall be convened by the President of the Republic,” said the article stipulates.
The mandated 30 days were due to end on Thursday, 5 August.
Once newly elected MPs are sworn in, they will sit down for business and elect a speaker and two deputies.
Stiff competition for the leadership of the House surfaced even before the Court finally authenticated the NEC results on July 7, 2021.
An opposition that, together, led the majority by winning 52 seats of the 82-seat parliament did not expect the government would challenge it. Shortly after the court reached its conclusion, UCID and Waddani parties announced that they were nominating Abdirizak Khalif, the former Deputy Chairman of the Waddani party, to lead the House. The First and Second Deputies came from UCID.
On its part, the government fielded the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor Yassin Mohamoud Hiir ‘Faratoon’ of Kulmiye – the ruling party – as its choice as House Speaker with, again, the two deputies coming from UCID.
A push and pull, behind-the-curtains activity started with the government fighting tooth and nail to attract enough numbers from the opposition camp to give it the lead come election day at the opening sitting.
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