MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s opposition said on Monday that it will not recognize Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as president, hours after his four-year term ended as prospects for a breakthrough over electoral deadlock continue to recede.
In a statement, an alliance of opposition presidential candidates announced that they would not recognize Mohamed Abdullahi as president after his mandate expired on Monday February 8, the same day he was elected to office in 2017.
It called for the establishment of a Transitional National Council to guide the country forward to elections and prevent a power vacuum and political crisis.
The opposition urged the incumbent leader to leave office and avoid anything that could plunge the war-torn county into chaos and unrest so as not to lose reverence for former presidents.
This comes days after talks between federal and regional leaders in the town of Dhusamareb – aimed at ending deadlock over the vote – collapsed.
There have been reports that the international community mounted pressure on Somalia’s parliament not to extend its term and the mandate of the incumbent president despite Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s efforts to remain in office.
Amid fears raised over possibility that troops might be used in a government crackdown against the opposition and critics of the incumbent leader, the opposition presidential candidates the urged armed forces not to take orders from individuals whose term expired.
According to the statement, a Transitional National Council which the opposition suggests to be formed, will undertake consultations with the speakers of the houses of parliament, regional state leaders, civil society and presidential candidates to agree on a new election timeline.
The statement has come after the semi-autonomous region of Puntland said on Sunday it would not recognize the incumbent leader as president after his mandate expires, adding that it will regard him as former president after February 8.
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