× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Cartoons Lifestyle Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Ramadhan Special Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Somalia MPs revoke decision to extend Farmaajo’s term by two years

AFRICA
By Reuters | May 1st 2021

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Cyril Ramaphosa at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa in May 2019. [File]

Somalia's lower house of parliament voted unanimously on Saturday to cancel a divisive two-year presidential term extension it approved last month, a move that might help end an armed stand-off in the capital Mogadishu.

The crisis over the term extension has raised fears that al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents could exploit the situation. Militants from al Shabaab took over at least one Somali town in the past week, as heavily armed fighters moved from the countryside into the capital city.

The lower house vote was broadcast on Somali television and came shortly after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo addressed parliament and said he was directing his prime minister to spearhead preparations for the election.

Farmaajo's term expired in February, but wrangling over elections meant a new crop of legislators was not selected to choose a new president.

The term extension was approved by lower house lawmakers last month but rejected by the Senate, provoking a political crisis that intensified in the past week.

The proposal split some security forces along clan lines. Between 60,000 and 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes following clashes on Sunday that stirred fears of all-out war between heavily armed factions for and against the president.

Rashid Abdi, a Nairobi-based independent analyst, said that the parliament's vote and the president's delegation of election preparations to the prime minister appeared to be a good compromise.

Take a quick survey and help us improve our website!

Take a survey

"The problem is there is so little trust between the parties and as long as Farmaajo holds the levers of the military and security services, it looks difficult to build confidence in that process," he said, using a popular nickname for the president.

Battle lines drawn

An opposition lawmaker said he was waiting for further reassurances.

"Much remains to be done," MP Abdirahman Odowaa told Reuters. "The handing over of security and election process to the prime minister should be documented and signed by (the president). (He) has to go to the conference tent and sign all this and many other conditions before all."

In the capital, shopkeeper Duale Hussein said he feared the opposition had been duped.

"He cleverly did a somersault," Hussein said of the president. "Farmaajo still rules everything. Prime Minister (Mohamed Hussein) Roble is just his remote control."

Earlier in the week, as tensions rose in the capital with rival factions of the security forces drawing battle lines, the president promised the nation he would appear before parliament.

Analysts had suggested the announcement was intended to signal he was placing the question of his proposed term extension in parliament's hands.

Opposition leaders had accused the president of stalling, and security forces loyal to the opposition refused to withdraw from fortified positions in the capital. read more

It was not immediately clear what those forces would do following Saturday's news from parliament.

Somalia's armed forces include members of clan militias who have often battled each other for power and resources.

Mohamed is Darod, one of Somalia's major clans. Most of the opposition leaders and Somali military in the capital are Hawiye, another large clan.

Share this story
Sialai gets new term as National Assembly clerk
In a letter to the Parliamentary Joint Services, PSC secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye announced that it would re-appoint Sialai on contract.
Murkomen: Uhuru insincere in easing Covid restrictions
As Kenyans took to social media to laud the President for his “sensitivity to citizens’ economic needs”, Murkomen held a different opinion.
.
RECOMMENDED NEWS

Feedback