Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Repeated delays in the midst of a feud between the president and prime minister have upset the international community.

Somali leaders have announced that they have reached an agreement to complete the parliamentary elections by February 25, after repeated delays that threatened the stability of the country.

The agreement was reached on Sunday after a few days of talks hosted by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble with state leaders aimed at ending a dead-end street across the polls.

“The ongoing election of the House of People [lower house] will be completed between the periods of 15 January and 25 February 2022, ”reads a statement issued following the talks in the capital, Mogadishu.

Roble and Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmaajo, have long been in conflict over the long-delayed elections, with fears that their quarrel could erupt into violence.

The international community has expressed its alarm over the crisis, fearing for the stability of the country as it continues to fight a deadly armed uprising by the al-Shabab armed group.

The feud between the two leaders broke out again last month when Farmaajo suspended Roble, the man he himself elected prime minister in September 2020.

But Roble accused the president of violating the constitution and of an “attempted coup” and disobeying the order, while Farmaajo himself faced calls from opposition leaders to vacate his post.

Farmaajo’s four-year mandate expires February 2021, but was controversially extended by parliament in April, causing deadly shootings in the streets of Mogadishu, with some rivals viewing it as a blatant coup.

Roble then brokered a new roster for a vote, but in the months that followed, the two’s bitter rivalry derailed the polls again.

They agreed to bury the ax in October, and made a united call to speed up the election process.

But their clash erupted again in public when Farmaajo suspended Roble and accused him of corruption for allegedly interfering in an investigation into an army-owned land scandal.

Elections in Somalia follow a complex indirect model, in which state legislators and tribal deputies elect legislators to the national parliament, who in turn elect the president.

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