MOGADISHU— Somalia’s lower house of parliament voted on Monday to extend the term of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo for another two years as the country prepares for a direct election, the speaker of the chamber said.
Mohamed Mursal Sheikh, the speaker of parliament said 149 lawmakers voted for the proposal, one rejected it and three abstained. The house usually has 275 MPs.
“His Excellency, President Mohamed 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.” said a statement from Villa Somalia, Farmaajo’s official residence in Mogadishu.
“This followed after the failure of FMS members to support the implementation of the initial Sep 17, 2020 Agreement.”
Earlier today, Mogadishu police chief was fired moments after announcing he had suspended the parliament session.
In his defense, Saadaq Omar Hassan, who was in charge of police operations in Somalia’s capital, said he was acting unilaterally to prevent MPs from extending the term of President.
“We have stopped the parliament session today. We have a responsibility bigger than a personal one,” Hassan told local television station Universal in a live speech.
“We have to solve anything that can bring violence and war in Mogadishu.
“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.
According to reports, the president has been under pressure to make a deal on holding delayed elections after his four terms came to an end on February 8, 2021.
Minister for Information Osman Dubbe said the government is ready for the polls once concerned stakeholders can resolve their difference.
The opposition party has since dismissed an election summit convened by President Farmajo, saying he has no constitutional mandate to summon such a forum.
Activists and political analysts have also raised concerns over the country’s insecurity situation, predicting that the Al-Shabaab militia might be used to intimidate the opposition in the upcoming elections.