Opposition leader accuses Somali president of plot to extend term

The leader of Somalia’s Wadajir opposition Paty (Unity Party), Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsameh has accused the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of causing chaos and plotting ill-intentioned plans to extend term of office when it expires in the coming months.

This comes, when the Somali government recently named an electoral committee consisting of presidential staff and security officials close to President Farmajo.

Suspicions regarding the government’s 2020/21 election strategy have grown in recent days, with leading political figures in the country, including former presidents, openly accusing President Farmajo of planning to hold on to power after his term ends.

President Farmajo signed months ago an electoral law that seeks to shift Somalia’s democracy from indirect suffrage to one-person-one-vote election. The new electoral law seeks to replace the clan-based system known as the “4.5 system” that Somali leaders adopted during the Mbagathi consultation process in Nairobi in 2004 to stop the bloodshed and restore law and order.

 Under this power-sharing model, parliamentary seats and most government positions are divided equally among the four major clans, with the remainder allocated to a cluster of minority clans.

Leaders of federal member states and major opposition parties say they were not consulted on the law. They fret that article 53 of the new law, which gives power to the federal government to postpone elections in the event of a national disaster such as floods, famine or armed conflict is a regime’s gambit to extend its term.

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