Somaliland Minister of Finance questioned by Parliament
Hargeysa (SomalilandGlobe) — Mr Hussein Ali Duale, Somaliland’s minister of finance, was grilled today by the legislators of Somaliland’s Parliament about the government’s new budget and the escalating inflation following the printing of new money by the administration. Mr Duale denied knowledge of any money the government has printed and urged the Parliamentarians to question the Chairman of Somaliland’s Central Bank about any such money.Mr Duale also refused to answer directly the Parliamentarians questions whether his government had printed new money recently and instead pointed out that this question should be addressed to the Central Bank’s Chair.
According to the Somaliland constitution the house of Parliament must approve before any new money is printed by the government.
The Minister was also asked about a key pledge in the government’s budget of the previous year, where his administration promised to exchange the Somali Shilling, which is still partly being used by large parts of Somaliland territories in the east, into Somaliland Shilling for the businesses and people in Eastern Somaliland. The government allocated millions of Shillings for that specific purpose in each of the last three years’ budgets however did not carry out or follow through on that pledge.
“We will exchange the money in the eastern regions in due course and we will give the contract to do so to Mr Ali Marehan (a parliamentarian)” said the Minister mokingly in response to the member’s questions about why it did not do so thus far.
The ministers references to a member of the panel of Parliamentarians that was questioning him was viewed as a sign of the Minister’s lack of respect for the Parliamentarians and their statutory duty to hold the administration accountable.
Mr Ali Marehan, the member of Parliament which the minister mentioned and said will be assigned that task, is a parliamentarian from the eastern parts of Somaliland who has been campaigning hard against the use of the Somali Shilling in the eastern regions.
Minister Duale’s appearance infront of the law makers today followed his refusal to appear infront of the Parliamentarians the previous day in order to answer questions about his administration’s budget for 2009, as per the norm. On Sunday, his deputy appeared infront of the Parliament instead of the minister himself who was expected to answer questions. The legislators refused to question the deputy minister and instead demanded the minister himself to appear infront of the Parliament.