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We will resolve poll stalemate through political means-Senate deputy speaker

Senate 1st Deputy Speaker Abshir Bukhari addressing the media in Senate Building July 23, 2017. Photo: Goobjoog News

The stand-off between Parliament and the Judiciary over a 2016 poll decision is a political question which calls for a political solution, Senate deputy speaker Abshir Bukhari has said noting the Senate was already seized of the matter and engaging all stakeholders.

Bukhari said the differences between the Lower House and the Judiciary over the disputed election of eigh MPs in the 2016/17 elections can best be solved through political means.

“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.

The first deputy speaker who also represents Galmudug state as Senator said the Senate was actively involved in trying to bring about a solution to the matter. “The Upper House is engaged in this matter and meeting with all the concerned stakeholders. We expect to find a solution and ensure political stability in the country,” the Senator said.

His comments follow the resolution by the Lower House on Thursday to ‘annul’ the Supreme Court decision in May which quashed the election of eight MPs and ordered a repeat poll. The Lower House observed in its resolution after a majority vote that the grounds relied upon by the Court to dismiss the election were not sufficient to warrant a repeat poll.

Petitioners in the 2016/17 parliamentary election had sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to order a repeat poll after the Independent Dispute Resolution Mechanism held a similar view as the Court annulling the poll results.

The Judiciary has not made any formal response to the decision of the House, a development which brings into question the doctrine of separation of powers. Article 106 of the Provisional Constitution expressly stamps the independence of the Judiciary over the other arms of government.