Somalia parliament approves two-year extension to president’s term

Somalia parliament approves two-year extension to president's term after police chief disrupts session
2 min read
12 April, 2021
Somalia's ongoing political turmoil deepened on Monday as the country's lower house approved a two-year extension to the president's four-year term.
Somalian parliamentarians voted to extend the president's term on Monday [AFP/Getty]

Parliamentarians in Somalia's lower chamber have approved a two-year extension to President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's four-year term.

The decision, taken on Monday, was intended to allow the nation to ready itself for direct voting, Reuters reported.

The speaker of the lower house, Mohamed Mursal Sheikh said the decision to extend the president’s term passed 149-1, with three abstentions.

While Senator Ayub Ismail Yusuf said the motion did not require the upper house's approval to come into force, an opposition member, Ilyas Ali Hassan, disputed this.

The country currently uses an indirect delegate system, where representatives of constituencies elect politicians on the people's behalf.

A new president was due to be chosen on 8 February, but was prevented by a political deadlock.

Opposition leaders said when the date came they no longer accept the current president's authority.

Read more: Somalia’s political deadlock: Why have elections been delayed?

The decision to extend the president's term follows the firing of Mogadishu's chief of police, Banader Sadiq Omar Hassan, who disrupted a parliamentary session on Monday morning.

He announced in a televised statement that attempts to extend the terms of the executive and legislative councils were unconstitutional, and that his actions were to prevent this.

The former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said on Sunday that the government's move towards such extensions constituted "high treason".

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