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South West state endorses House vote on contested seats as electoral impasse holds

South West state president Sheikh Shariff Hassan’s administration Thursday voiced its support for Parliament over its poll decision. File Photo: Amisom

The South West State administration has thrown its weight behind Parliament’s decision to ‘set aside’ the High Court verdict in May which annulled the election of eight MPs adding a new paradigm to the debate as the stalemate between the legislature and the judiciary persists.

In a statement Thursday seen by Goobjoog News, the Shariff Sheikh Hassan administration said it fully supported the May 22 House majority vote which declared the list of names submitted by the Federal Indirect Electoral Team (FIEIT) as final.

“South West State fully supports the final result which lists 275 members of the Lower House and 54 for the Upper House as announced by the electoral team in December 2016,” the statement read.

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The state also said it regretted the decision by the High Court to annul the election of eight members of parliament noting the verdict ran counter to the process developed and agreed through political negotiation in 2016.

“Special committees were formed to oversee the electoral process and the High Court was not one of them. The outcome of the process was based on an agreement between the federal and regional governments,” the statement read.

Majority vote

Parliament passed a majority vote last week which it sought to declare null and void the High Court decision setting a supremacy discourse between the two institutions. In its resolution, the House said the High Court did not raise sufficient ground to dismiss the vote citing circumstances under which a lawmaker can lose a seat.

The entry of regional administrations into the fray is likely to generate more debate even as the Senate signaled it was intervening on the matter. Senate first deputy speaker Abshir Bukhari told Goobjoog News last week the differences between the House and the High Court were a political question which called for a political solution.

Political question

“The two disputing bodies are each distinct and independent. The government is made up of three arms-the executive, legislature and the judiciary. What we have here is a political problem which requires a political solution,” said Bukhari.

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Constitutional Affairs Minister Abdirahman Hosh Jibril dismissed the Lower House vote Saturday in a tweet. “Somali parliament is out to lunch. Parliament cannot overturn the verdict of the highest court of the land.”

The House did not take this lightly and summoned him to appear before it this Sunday.

The South West administration called on government institutions to find an amicable solution to avoid political instability in the country.