Updated: Somali Democratic Party CC chief says Executive, Central Committees not mandated to dissolve SDP

Addis Abeba, November 21/2019- In a statement sent to Addis Standard, Mohammed Olad, media and communication advisor of Mestafe Omer, Somali regional state vice president, said that Eng. Mohamed Shalle, SDP Central Committe Bureau Head announced via the Somali Region State Boradcaster that the party’s Executive Committee (EC) and Central Committee (CC) members “don’t have the power to dissolve SDP, Somali Democratic Party.”

“He unequivocally declared that it is only party congress that has the mandate to do that,” Mohammed said in the statement sent late tonight, further quoting Mohamed Shalle as telling the regional state broadcaster that as of now, EPRDF don’t have the mandate to dissolve SDP or any other Agar [allied] party.

“All they can do is offer a merger. And for that to happen, our EC, CC as well as party wide congress and cadres should all debate and approve if and only if they think it is in the best interest of the Somali people and their unwavering demand for self-autonomy and the protection of the constitutionally enshrined sacred pact – that is multinational federalism,” Mohamed Shalle told Somali regional state broadcaster, according to the statement from Mohammed Olad.

The news comes as today’s meeting of the EPRDF Council, which was boycotted by TPLF for the same legal reasons, approved EPRDF’s merger, and Prosperity Party manifesto.

A document obtained by Addis Standard stated that “when the Somali Democratic Party (SDP), agreed “in principle” to join the proposed formation of Prosperity Party (PP), it did so on the agreed upon formula that:

  1. The existing multinational federal system shall be safeguarded.
  2. The right to self-rule and autonomous decision making at regional level, which is enshrined in the constitution, shall be guaranteed.
  3. The use of Somali language as official language of administration in SRS and medium of instruction in schools will not be changed.
  4. Somali Language shall be given official federal status in line with Amharic Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya and others…
  5. The current structure of SDP and membership organs shall remain intact .
  6. The political program of the PP shall take into consideration the socio-economic make-up and livelihood of the Somali society .
  7.  The power sharing formula shall take into consideration the size of our population, huge land mass, natural resources, geopolitical strategic location and significance.

However a source told Addis Standard that SDP rank and file believe that the current proposed PP bylaw “violates at least two of the stickiest conditions: the party structure (discussed under 5) and the representation in the new party that is to be established after merger (discussed under 7).” The same source said that in addition to the two points above, most party members are raising questions on the lack of clarity on the question of autonomy and self-rule (discussed under 2). The news has set in motion several consultations among the rank and file members of the party as well as its senior leadership, Addis Standard learnt. AS

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