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Somalia parliament picks Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur as new speaker

By Reuters | Apr 28th 2022 | 2 min read
Somali soldiers loyal to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble take positions outside the Aden Adde International Airport where members of the Lower House of Parliament are meeting to elect a speaker, in Mogadishu, Somalia, April 27, 2022. [Reuters]

Somalia's lawmakers elected Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur as their new speaker on Thursday, in a vote that was delayed most of the previous day due to disagreements over who would be in charge of the security of the venue of the vote.

The election of speakers in the parliament and senate a day earlier is a key step in establishing the new government, which must be in place by May 17 if Somalia is to continue receiving budget support from the International Monetary Fund, the lender said in February. 

Nur was declared the winner in a vote overseen by Abdisalan Liban Dhabancad, parliament's interim speaker.

Somalia's delayed election process has been beset by Islamist violence and a power struggle between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

Both President Mohamed Farmaajo and Prime Minister Roble sent congratulatory messages to Nur on their Twitter accounts.

On Wednesday, Roble had asked African Union (AU) soldiers to take over the protection of lawmakers as they pick the new parliament leadership, after warning police and intelligence officials not to interfere in the long-overdue elections.

Last year political rivalries split the security forces so badly that rival factions of the army took positions in strategic parts of the capital Mogadishu, a rift that has led to a stand-off over security for the elections.

Somalia's elections had been scheduled for a year ago but were delayed when President Mohamed tried to extend his four-year term by two years, a move thwarted by parliament.

On Tuesday Abdi Hashi, a long-serving senator and critic of the president was re-elected as speaker of the upper house.

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