Somalia’s Opposition Accuses President of Still Pursuing Term Extension

Somalia opposition

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Opposition leaders accused Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of still pursuing an extension of his term in office, months after he had rolled back the decision and called on the international community to identify the spoilers stonewalling efforts to hold credible elections in the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation.

In a statement, the Council of Presidential Candidates, a conglomerate of opposition parties asked the prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to speed up the electoral process, tighten grip on security responsibilities and not compromise on the 27 May deal, in which the outgoing leader delegated key powers.

They urged the armed forces not to meddle in the electoral process, stand by the National Consultative Council in ensuring the conduct of peaceful polls and thwart attempts aimed at undermining the premier’s work.

It comes after mediation efforts led by the president of Galmudug regional state Ahmed Qoorqoor came into abysmal failure and dashed hopes for a breakthrough after tensions between the country’s most powerful leaders – the president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble – reached new heights. Regional officials blamed the president’s side for the fiasco. read more

The dispute, which is nominally over the murder of a female spy, widened tensions between the country’s political stakeholders after Farmajo demanded the premier abandon probe into the killing that sparked a public outcry and instead open doors for settlement over the disappearance, including payment of blood money to her family. Roble, however, insisted on pursuing justice for Ikran Tahlil despite challenges from the president and his allies.

Some of the country’s political stakeholders and law expersts said it was a “big mistake” that the premier had opened negotiations with a president whose term ended 7 months ago, who is still struggling to counter the conduct of transparent elections and is obstructing justice in a high-profile murder case.

[The council] calls on the international community to assist the National Consultative Council in the speedy conduct of elections and point finger at spoilers getting in the way of the electoral process,” Somali opposition leaders, including former presidents, said in a statement.

The council watches closely the military movements and the plots designed by the outgoing president and the former NISA chief to undermine elections and instigate violence and unrest.”

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