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Somaliland government banns opposition rally

HARGEISA (SD) – Somaliland’s interior minister rejects opposition parties request letter for a planned rally, saying it did not meet the required criteria, such as stating why, where and when the protests would take place.

Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, who held a press conference in Hargeisa, said the constitution allows parties to hold demonstrations, but the party chairmen need to meet the criteria, including making the request in person.

“First of all, the national constitution of Somaliland allows protests. When the request letter came to me, it was not presented by the two chairmen who who wrote it.” said Kahin.

Contrary to the opposition parties claims, the minister said the request did not specify, the purpose of the protest, the venue and the date of the protest.

“The law states first that the purpose of the protest should be clarified, secondly it should state the venues, and thirdly it should state the date of the protest,” said Minister Kahin.

The minister said there are places where protests can take place and places that are not allowed, such as commercial markets and around hospitals.

Opposition parties told local media earlier that the interior minister accepted request, but later questioned it due to pressure from the presidency.

Opposition parties have opposed postponing the November presidential election, and rejected registering new political parties ahead of time.

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