The government of Somaliland comprises legislative, executive, and judicial branches – each of which counterchecks the other but does not have a direct overarching jurisdiction over the other paving the way for a system of check-and-balance. The legislative comprises a bicameral parliament breaking into the house of elders, ‘Guurti’ or (Upper House of Parliament) and the Lower House which is called the House of Representatives. Each of the two houses has 82 members.
The Guurti was born with the rebirth of the Republic and the restoration of its lost sovereignty in 1991 as an extension of the Elders’ Council that adjudicated social and judicial matters during the emancipation years in Ethiopia in the mid and late-80s. The first elected members of the House of Representatives took their oath in 2005 following a one-person, one-vote election which decided who was to represent the constituents.
The Executive Branch is headed by a President and a Vice President who are popularly elected on one of three national political parties’ tickets. His Excellency President Musa Bihi Abdi, elected in late 2017, presently heads the state. H.E. Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail ‘Zeili’i is the Vice President. The current government is the fifth in the 29-year history of the Republic and the third elected on the one-person, a one-vote democratic system with each government handing over reins of government to the next, succeeding administration peacefully and without rift or rancor.