Somalian parliament elects new speaker in crucial step for presidential polls

Mogadishu, Apr 28 (EFE).- The Somalian parliament elected its new speaker on Thursday in a key step to forming the new government delayed due to violence and a power tussle between President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed and Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble.

Lawmakers elected Adan Mohamed Nur, known as Adan Madobe, as the lower house speaker in a vote that was to take place on Wednesday morning but got delayed over disagreements on who would take control of the security.

Madobe received 163 votes in an election guarded by soldiers from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) at the fortified airport compound in the capital Mogadishu.

Prime Minister Roble Wednesday asked AU soldiers to take over the protection of lawmakers for the election after warning police and intelligence services not to interfere in the process.

Last year, political divisions led to clashes between opposing factions of the army in Mogadishu, leaving at least 13 dead and 22 wounded.

Madobe has previously served as lower house speaker from 2007 to 2010. He has also been the minister of Justice and commerce.

Before the vote, international partners, including the African Union European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, the United States, and the United Nations, urged Somalia to conclude the process of electing a new speaker peacefully.

“We urge all Somali leaders to exercise restraint, resolve differences through compromise, and avoid escalation of any incidents. Somalia’s urgent focus must be to conclude the electoral process calmly and credibly so that duly elected leaders can address key national priorities,” they said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, veteran lawmaker Abdi Hashi Abdullahi won re-election as speaker of the upper house. He secured 28 out of a total of 54 votes.

The election took place after the legislators of the bicameral parliament took the oath on Apr.14, when 20 seats were still vacant in the 275-member lower house.

Completing the parliamentary elections is a key milestone for the presidential elections.

The presidential polls got postponed on several occasions since 2021 due to political differences and accusations of irregularities, even as Farmaajo’s mandate expired a year ago.

Under Somali law, the head of state must secure majority support from the 329 members of the bicameral parliament.

Somalia has lived in a state of conflict and chaos since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991, leaving the country without an effective government and in the hands of warlords and Islamist militias.

The systematic postponement of the elections is a distraction from problems for the country, such as the fight against the Al Shabab group, which controls rural areas in the center and south and wants to establish an Islamic state. EFE


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