- Somaliland's Lower House has this weekend endorsed the election bill with an absolute majority, finally accepting the amendments suggested by the President. The bill has however caused controversy in parts of the country that have been allocated few parliamentary seats.
'Awdalnews Network' learnt from close sources to the Hargeisa parliament that 61 members of those present had voted in favour while four had abstained. The parliament's Speaker was among those who didn't vote on Saturday.
Earlier, the house had demanded a national census and the demarcation of regional borders as a condition for putting their seal on the bill.
However, President Dahir Riyale Kahin of yet-to-be-recognised Somaliland had rejected the parliament's demands and referred the issue to the country's higher court. The court in turn supported the President's position.
Saturday's approval was the last attempt to avoid further confrontation and a further delay of the parliamentary election, which was originally slated by the President to be held on 29 March. The poll has now been postponed by President Kahin parliament approved the election bill.
One draw-back of the new election bill, however, is that the election will be held only in regional capitals, thus automatically disenfranchising tens of thousands of village dwellers and countryside people. The bill further is based on Somaliland's 1960 parliament allocation system - 1960 being the ex-British colony's only period of international recognition as an independent state.
With the parliamentary election seen as the victory lap of Somaliland's democratisation process, many observers worry that the allocation of parliamentary seats on 1960's clan basis rather than one-person one vote basis may be a source of dissention among some clans.
Prominent personalities from the Awdal region in the western part of the country have already shown resentment for the process and threatened to boycott the election.
A new date for the polling day is expected to be announced by the National Election Commission in the near future. The upcoming parliamentary election is to mark the finalisation of Somaliland's democratic transition, where leaders of all levels are democratically elected. Presidential and local elections have already been organised and were deemed free and fair by international observers.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.