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Somalia: Is Farmaajo’s term extension a power grab or the way forward to election reform?

By Mohamed Sheikh Nor
Posted on Thursday, 15 April 2021 13:03

Somali legislators of the lower house of parliament raise their hands to vote to extend President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's term for another two years to let the country prepare for direct elections, in Mogadishu
Somali legislators of the lower house of parliament raise their hands to vote to extend President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's term for another two years to let the country prepare for direct elections, in Mogadishu, Somalia April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Incumbent Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo, continues to hold on to power even after his four year term officially ended on 8 February, 2021. A political stalemate pushed back elections and on 12 April, parliamentarians -- at the behest of the executive -- extended Farmajo’s term for another two years, further complicating the situation in the country.

In a daring move on Monday 12 April, Mogadishu police chief Sadaq Omar also known as ‘John’ issued a statement directing members of parliament not to attend a session of the lower house of the people.

According to the police chief — who has since been replaced –– he was trying to protect Somalia from plunging into further chaos due to the prolonged elections impasse. In his statement, Sadaq said: “I stopped today’s session because parliament’s term expired and there is no need for an extension of their term.”