Lawmakers in Somalia’s separatist republic of Somaliland have launched serious accusations against President Dahir Riyale, including charges of violating the region’s constitution and high treason.
Legislators in Somaliland’s lower house of parliament, the House of Representatives, met Sunday in the capital Hargeisa, where 43 MPs opened debate on Riyale’s livestock export deal with Saudi Arabian company al Jabberi.
Under that agreement, al Jabberi has exclusive rights to export Somaliland livestock from the port of Berbera. But the deal has angered local traders and lawmakers, some of whom have openly called for Mr. Riyale’s impeachment.
"If the House of Representatives wants to gain the confidence of those who elected them, then President Riyale must be impeached," MP Said Elmi Roble said, according to a report by Somaliland newspaper Jamhuuriya.
The lawmakers cited Article 11 from the Somaliland Constitution, which states: "…the national economic policy based on the principles of free market."
The MPs argued that the al Jabberi deal provides a "monopoly" on livestock export for the Saudi company, while neglecting the commercial interests of local traders.
The Somaliland leader was also accused of ‘high treason,’ which is an impeachable offense under Article 96 of the breakaway republic’s constitution.
Somaliland, in northwestern Somalia, has its own government and the region enjoys relative peace but has not been recognized internationally since unilaterally declaring independence in 1991.