Mogadishu – Somalia’s president and prime minister say they have struck a deal to speed up the process for long-delayed elections, ending their simmering feud which threatened to plunge the Horn of Africa nation into fresh crisis.
“The leadership have agreed to accelerate the election process by calling on the federal member states to start the election of the (lower house of) parliament in the next couple of weeks”, a statement by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said late on Thursday.
The two men had locked horns over top security appointments and dismissals in a dispute that stoked fears for Somalia’s stability, with the row escalating on September 16 after the president, known as Farmajo, announced he was suspending the premier’s executive powers.
Farmajo’s four-year mandate expired in February, but was extended by parliament in April, triggering deadly gun battles in Mogadishu, with some rivals viewing it as a flagrant power grab.
Roble cobbled together a new timetable for a vote, but the process has fallen behind, and last month he accused Farmajo of trying to derail it.
The next phase is scheduled for October 1-November 25 with elections for the lower house of parliament, but voting has yet to take place in some states for the upper house as previously scheduled.
Elections in Somalia follow a complex indirect model, whereby state legislatures and clan delegates pick lawmakers for the national parliament, who in turn choose the president.
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