MPs exchange blows

2009-09-09 12:35

Hargeisa - Politicians traded blows in Somaliland's parliament on Tuesday after officials agreed to debate a motion to impeach the president of the breakaway enclave over election delays.

Two members of parliament started fighting, then the mayhem spread to other parts of the floor and one lawmaker pulled a pistol before police burst in and ordered the rowdy politicians out of the chamber, eyewitnesses said.

Lawmakers have immunity and are not searched on their way into the building. The pistol was quickly grabbed by other legislators and not fired.

Somaliland has enjoyed relative peace compared with other parts of Somalia since the Horn of Africa nation plunged into anarchy in 1991. But persistent delays to presidential elections have worried rights groups and angered opposition politicians.

Illegal move

A poll set for July was put back to September 27. But the electoral commission postponed the election again this week due to worries about whether a vote could be held in the current political climate amid disputes over new electoral lists.

The motion to impeach President Dahir Riyale Kahin was presented on Saturday and the legal advisor to the lower house told lawmakers on Tuesday the move was legal - sparking an angry response from ruling party politicians.

Somaliland is governed by an opposition-led house of representatives elected by the people and an upper house made up of clan elders. The House of Elders has twice extended President Kahin's mandate and it is now due to expire on October 29.

The polls are seen as a test for the former British protectorate, which has been clamouring for international recognition since declaring independence after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown.

Hostage to peace

Human Rights Watch said in July that all the gains made by Somaliland to build stability and democracy risked being lost if the government continued to undermine the law.

It said then that if the September 27 elections were delayed it could prove disastrous for democratic rule in Somaliland.

The government has called the report, "Hostages to Peace", an unfair slur and said this week it was not afraid of the impeachment motion, nor of holding an election.

"We know that the election is near and that the impeachment motion is aimed to obstruct elections, destroy the country and encourage Somaliland's enemies," Finance Minister Husein Ali Duale, a close ally of the president, said on Monday.

The chairman of the house said the lawmaker who took out his pistol would be disciplined and parliamentarians would resume their duties on Saturday.

Read more on:    somaliland  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014
This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are in an innovative mood and may want to break out and do your own thing today. The Moon moves into Aries which emphasizes...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.