Mayor of Mogadishu Says Election Could Be Held in the City amid Widespread Militant Attacks

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –Mayor of Mogadishu sanguinely said popular elections could be held in every corner of the capital, a few hours before militants stormed beachfront hotel on Sunday, killing at least 23 people among them officials.

In a keynote speech at a ceremony held in the capital, the Mayor Omar Mohamed Filish pointed out that the current administration insisted on holding a popular election as ordained by the national constitution, amid widespread opposition.

“I believe that elections could be held in every corner of Banadir region [Mogadishu],” said Mayor Omar Filish.

“If you have a different opinion that a popular election could not be held [in the capital] due to insecurity, so you tell me!.”

The mayor apparently downplaying insecurity in the capital – which has been spiraling out of control – reiterated that elections could also be held in other cities in Somalia.

Mogadishu’s Mayor Omar Filish, a former warlord who feverishly participated in Somalia’s civil is now seen as a torch-bearer for president Farmajo’s campaign to serve beyond his term.

A few hours after his speech, a vehicle laden with explosives was rammed into a beachfront hotel in Mogadishu, after which at least 4 Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed the hotel compound, popularly attended by government ministers and MPs.

For many, an attack with such an intensity targeting a beachfront hotel in Mogadishu’s heavily protected green-zone is a telltale sign that no election could be held in the city unless a virtual voting option is taken, given that the attackers were able to hold the hotel under siege for more than 5 hours, in the course of which over 200 government officials and MPs were narrowly rescued.

A few hours before the mayor’s speech, more than 10 explosions rocked the capital city, targeting district headquarters and police stations.

Recommendations made by dispirited opposition politicians and intellectuals have come under blistering attacks from the federal government that seems to have directed all its efforts on mandate extension, while the Horn of Africa nation’s international partners sternly warn against any move that could lead the incumbents to serve beyond their tenure.

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