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Somaliland President sidelines election dispute mediation committee

HARGEISA (SD) – Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and a committee of traditional leaders and civil society committed committed to resolving the election dispute, for the first time met to day.

A statement from the Somaliland presidency said the meeting ended with the president telling the traditional leaders to leave the matter to the unelected Guurti house, whom majority of them are a staunch Bihi supporters, who are driving the dispute.

“Finally, the meeting ended in a positive atmosphere, and it was agreed that the House of Elders, which is legally responsible for resolving disputes in Somaliland, should be in charge of this task, and we should wait for them to tell us how to proceed.” said the presidential statement.

The House of Elders has so far not shown any interest in the electoral dispute or addressed the political crisis in the country.

The presidency in the statement, did not elaborate on whether the traditional leaders should step a side, or whether they would play a role in mediating the dispute.

Somaliland’s House of Elders lacks the full confidence of opposition parties, as the national opposition parties have only given a mandate to the 31-member traditional elders civil society who met with the president to mediate the dispute.

Somaliland is embroiled in a political dispute over President Bihi’s desire to extend his term and disband national parties, a move many say could plunge the peaceful enclave into civil war.

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