Foreign, News

Somalia political crisis deepens as MPs extend Farmaajo’s term by two years

Somalia Lower Houses votes to extend President Mohamed Farmaajo’s term

Somalia Parliament has voted to extend President Mohamed Farmaajo’s federal government mandate for two years.

In the sitting, 149 MPs of the Lower House voted by show of hands to approve the decision. Three MPs opposed it, and one abstained.

The resolution gives the country’s election commission to conduct elections in not more than two years. This means President Farmaajo, whose term expired on February 8, will be in office until Febbruary 2023.

“ @TheVillaSomalia H.E @M_Farmaajo urges the Citizens to seize the historic chance to choose their destiny as the House of the People voted to return the elections mandate to the people. This followed after the failure of FMS members to support the implementation the initial Sep 17, 2020 Agreement,” Villa Somalia tweeted.

The AU, the EU, Igad and the UN had on April 10 warned against extension of terms.

In a statement, the international partners reaffirmed their decision not to support “any parallel process, partial elections, or new initiatives leading to any extension of prior mandates”.

UK won’t support partial or parallel polls in Somalia or automatic extension of Farmaajo regime

Talks between the President, opposition leaders, and diplomats to fix a new date for elections have been intermittent and inconclusive.

Earlier in the day, Mogadishu’s police chief had announced that he had suspended parliament, saying he was acting unilaterally to prevent lawmakers from extending the president’s term.

He was fired moments later by the police commissioner.

“We have stopped the parliament session today. We have a responsibility bigger than a personal one. We have to solve anything that can bring violence and war in Mogadishu,” Reuters quoted Mogadishu police chief Saadaq Omar Hassan as telling a local television station Universal in a live speech. “The four-year term has ended.”

Moments later, Somalia’s police commissioner Hassan Mohamed Hijar announced on Facebook that Hassan had been fired and replaced.

The new twist is likely to complicate the political situation in Somalia as Farmaajo’s opponents have been against term extension.

Former Prime Minister Hassan Khaire, who is also a presidential candidate, said Farmaajo wants to keep power by all means.

“I am sure there is no question that the outgoing president will not be able to stay in power illegally. The question is, to what extent can it hold us back or destroy our progress?” Khaire said on Monday.

Norway calls for ‘swift transfer of power’ in Somalia, as EU hints at sanctions

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