President suspends PM in election row — Analysis
Somalia’s president has suspended the powers of the prime minister for a second time this year. They argued over who was blocking a sensitive election in parliament.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble was unable to exercise his executive powers. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed announced that the decision, in light of allegations of corruption, will be rescinded.
The PM’s office didn’t immediately react, but the information minister said security forces loyal to the president were moving to keep Roble out of office and branded the action an “indirect coup.”
This statement came a day after two high-ranking officials had publicly accused one another of trying to stall the ongoing parliamentary elections. Somalia’s indirect system of choosing MPs is used by clan elders and local councils to select legislators for each chamber.
After lengthy delays, the election was set to begin in November. The deadline for the end of the current election was Friday. But only 24 out of 275 seats were available in the lower chamber by that time. Newly elected parliament members will be able to vote for a president.
Farmaajo is Somalia’s president. He said Sunday that Prime Minister Roble was posing a problem. “a serious threat to the electoral process,”Afflicted official replied that it was President Obama who was “derailing the electoral process.”
This was due to the failure of the former PM to hold an election using a one-person, one-vote system. It was supposed to take place before February 2021.
Somalia has only held one indirect presidential election in its modern history, with lawmakers picking Farmaajo in a process criticized by some observers as the most corrupt political event in the country’s history.
The two men clashed in April, after the lower chamber of Parliament voted to extend the president’s then-expired four-year term by two more years. Upper chamber rejected the decision and there were clashes in Mogadishu. This raised the possibility that civil war would engulf Somalia in 1991, after the demise of a dictatorship.
In May, the president asked the prime minister to organize a ballot using the indirect system. Each side declared its commitment to the election.
September saw another confrontation over the appointment as head of key security agency. Farmaajo at the time even announced the suspension of Roble’s hiring and firing powers. In the end, both sides were able to offer senior office positions to their candidates of choice.
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