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Somaliland: Supreme court decision upholds banning of local extraordinary sessions

Hargeisa (SD) – The Supreme Court of Somaliland has ruled against a lawsuit filed by seven members of the Gabiley district council, who have been protesting against a previous ruling by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Somaliland, banning local extraordinary sessions in the country without their approval.

The Supreme Court of Somaliland, has today dismissed a lawsuit filed by members of the Gabiley district council, claiming that the said council does not all local councils in Somaliland.

“The Supreme Court of Somaliland, after considering the reasons for the appellants, after seeing a statement from the Ministry of Interior of Somaliland, dated 13/1/2021 which stated that the local councils of the country could not hold an extraordinary session. Considering that the local councils have a unified structure, when it sees that the text of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Somaliland is general and applicable to all local governments in the country, when it sees that the appellants’ complaint is not in accordance with the law as, They do not have the legal representation of all local councils in the country, as their grievances apply to all local councils in the Republic of Somaliland. As the order applies to all local councils of the Republic of Somaliland, it rejects the application of the grounds of appeal dated 26/10/2021 submitted to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Somaliland by the lawyers of the appellants.” ruled the court.

Mubarak Abdi a constitutional lawyer, in a released statement says the Supreme Court’s decision in the case filed by a majority of Gabiley councilors is flawed.

“First of all, the Court disagreed with the due process hearing under the Civil Procedure Code, which requires the other party to respond to the appeal when it appeals to the Court, then the court should schedule a hearing between the parties” said Mubarak Abdi.

Adding “Unfortunately, this did not happen, according to the decision, the court relied on the ministerial order. As a judicial rule, the ministry should’ve respond to complaints about the legitimacy of its order, and the court should’ve reviewed the parties’ arguments and documents.”

Majority of Gabiley municipal councilors announced their displeasure with the mayor and wanted to hold a non confidence vote, but Somaliland’s ministry of Interior banned any extraordinary local government sessions.

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