In a close session, the Somaliland Guurti led by Chairman Suleiman Mohamoud Adan has voted to extend President Muse Bihi Abdi’s presidential term by two years and has given itself a five-year mandate extension. Very little detail has emerged on today’s session and if there was any deliberation on the two extensions approved by the Senate.
The Guurti’s action to extend President Bihi’s term follows the announcement from the National Election Commission that the constitutionally mandated presidential elections will not be held on November 13th due to technical issues and that they will need nine months to prepare for presidential elections. It is unclear why the Guurti has ignored the recommendation of the Election Commission and extended the President’s term by two full years. This is the sixth time Somaliland Guurti has extended presidential term.
Political dispute centered on which election, the presidential or national political parties, comes first has been ongoing in Somaliland for at least a year. Opposition parties, the President and his ruling party have been trading blame on the exact cause of the election delays.
So far there has been no statement from the opposition parties of Waddani and UCID on the two year term extension for President Bihi and it is unclear if any other consensus has been reached.