Somaliland

Abdirahman Irro steps down as House Speaker

Abdirahman Irro steps down as Speaker
Irro will remain in parliament as a MP.

HARGEISA – Waddani Presidential Candidate, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi Irro, on Wednesday resigned from the post of Speaker of Somaliland’s lower house of parliament after holding the position for close to 12 years.

Irro gave a lengthy speech in front of his colleagues at Somaliland’s lower house parliament building, recounting his tenure as Speaker and his achievements over the past 12 years.

Irro told his colleagues and the press that he is stepping down from the post to focus on his Presidential Campaign, but will stay on as MP.

Irro, was elected as a UCID MP for Sahil Region during Somaliland’s 2005 parliamentary elections. Irro, who was a newcomer to Somaliland politics at the time, became Speaker as a result of a deal between Somaliland’s then-opposition parties, Kulmiye and UCID.

The two parties brokered the deal to prevent UDUB, Somaliland’s then-ruling political party from taking over the parliamentary leadership. Kulmiye took the 1st Deputy Speaker and 2nd Deputy Speaker posts as part of the deal.

Irro departed from UCID in 2012 to form his own political party, Waddani, taking the majority of UCID’s MP’s and a few UDUB MP’s along with him. After departing UCID, Irro’s Speakership was marred by allegations of partisanship and abuse of power.

In 2014, Kulmiye MP’s threatened to launch an impeachment motion against Irro, after he was accused of doctoring a bill after it was passed by the house. 

In 2015, Irro assaulted Kulmiye Deputy Speaker, Bashe Mohamed Farah, during an argument over a vote on the privatization of Berbera Oil Terminal.

Since 2015, many MPs began to call for Irro’s resignation from the post, citing his dual political positions as a conflict of interest. Irro accepted the calls in mid-2016, and promised that he will resign before the Presidential Election.

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