Gunfire Heard As Somaliland MPs Clash with Police Officers Deployed to Break up Scuffle

Brawl at Somaliland parliament

HARGEISA (Somaliguardian) – Gunfire has been heard at the headquarters of Somaliland parliament in Hargeisa on Monday after MPs clashed with police officers deployed to break up a scuffle at the compound, as tensions escalate over an announcement by the Information Minster that the president had ordered the commencement of the opening of political organizations.

MPs of the ruling political party Kulmiye refused to attend a session scheduled to take place on Monday, in which the parliament would debate the president’s decision on formation of political organizations, which the opposition sees as an attempt to delay the upcoming presidential election.

Two MPs brawled outside the hall, exchanging blows and kicks as videos circulated on social media showed other members of parliament trying to ease the fist-fight.

Other videos shared by journalists showed MPs shoving officers out of the compound and closing in the gate as other soldiers fired live rounds, in one of the most chaotic scenes at Somaliland’s parliament known for its history of scuffles between MPs.

The speaker of parliament, Abdirizak Khalif Ahmed, who comes from Waddani opposition party, accused the ruling political party of meddling in the parliament’s work and stressed that such moves could undermine the legislative body’s check and balances powers.

Leaders of opposition parties UCID and Waddani said on Sunday president Muse Bihi’s decision could sway the country from its current election trajectory and warned that it could lead to a political crisis.

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