Somalia’s Parliament to Extend Its Mandate, Speaker Says

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Speaker of Somalia’s parliament Mohamed Mursal disclosed plan to extend MPs’ terms beyond 27 December after delay has been foreseen for the country’s elections.

Amid warnings that mandate extensions for the executive and legislative branches of the Somali federal government could complicate efforts to bring an end to the country’s protracted political stalemate, Mr Mursal insisted that they plan to avoid a vacuum.

The speaker highlighted that MPs will serve beyond their terms unless a new parliament is elected to ensure that the country does not plunge into crisis.

“The parliament will continue to serve until parliamentary elections are held and the federal and regional governments complete plan for parliament’s election,” the speaker said, adding that MPs cannot leave without handing over responsibilities to a new parliament.

This comes a few months after the Somali federal and regional leaders agreed to hold timely elections and if the parliament extends its mandate that will be a significant blow to US and UN-brokered talks between the war-torn nation’s political stakeholders.

The announcement of the Somali parliament speaker has come following reports that the new Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has been hell-bent on mandate extension.

A delay has been foreseen for both the country’s parliamentary and presidential elections which could stoke new tensions amid fears raised over renewed stalemate after the federal government ignored to adhere to some clauses in a recent deal, in particular those concerning its ties with Jubaland regional state and de-escalation of military activities in the disputed Gedo region along Somalia’s borders with Kenya and Ethiopia.

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