Somalia’s president suspended prime minister amid electoral conflict

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Photo: EFE) (FEISAL OMAR /)

The President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, announced on Monday that it suspended the prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, a day after the two clashed over the long-awaited elections in the troubled African country.

The president decided to suspend Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and withdraw his powers because he is linked (to cases of) corruption”Said the presidential office in a statement, in which it accused the suspended person in charge of interfering in the investigation of a case of land grabbing.

Mohamed Hussein Roble responded immediately by accusing the president of seeking a “Coup against the government, the Constitution and the laws of the country.”

“As, apparently, the president decided to destroy government institutions. I order all Somali national forces to work under the leadership of the prime minister’s office starting today“Roble declared during a press conference from his headquarters, where he was able to enter despite the strong military presence abroad.

Relations between the president, known as Farmajo, and Roble have been tense, and their last confrontation generated fears for the stability of Somalia, which is fighting the jihadist insurgency.

On Saturday, Farmajo decided to withdraw the entrusted task of organizing the elections and demanded the creation of a new committee to “Correct” problems.

The president called for a consultative conference to be held, bringing together the federal government, the Somali states and the authorities in the capital, Mogadishu, to find “A competent leader” to carry out the electoral process.

The two responsible parties have crossed accusations in recent days. Roble denounced that the president does not want to celebrate “A credible election.”

“The prime minister is determined not to be deterred by anyone in the fulfillment of his national duties in order to lead the country to elections that will pave the way for a peaceful transfer of power,” said a statement released by Roble’s office.

President since 2017, Farmajo saw his term expire on February 8 without being able to find an understanding with regional leaders to organize elections.

Somalia has not held direct elections in 50 years and has a complex indirect system. And the organization of elections has been affected in recent months by various circumstances.

In April, pro-government fighters and opponents were gunned down in the streets of Mogadishu, after Farmajo spread for two years his term of government without holding elections.

The constitutional crisis was appeased when Farmajo he reversed his decision and Roble negotiated an electoral calendar. But in the following months, the rivalry between the two politicians again affected the vote.

Farmajo and Roble agreed to make peace in October and jointly called for speeding up the electoral process.

On Sunday, the United States government claimed it was “Deeply concerned about the continuous postponements and procedural irregularities that have undermined the credibility of the process”Electoral.

Several analysts point out that the political dispute distracts Somalia from its most important problems, such as the insurgency of the Al Shabab group.

That movement, an al Qaeda ally, was driven out of Mogadishu ten years ago but still controls rural areas and carries out deadly attacks.

(With information from AFP)

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