Opposition Calls for Protests in Somalia

The opposition in Somalia has threatened to stage a protest against President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s continued stay in power after his tenure expired last week.

Former President Sheikh Shariff Sheikh Ahmed, who announced the demonstrations on behalf of other opposition presidential candidates, said the protest on Friday will be first of many others planned for the future.

Describing Farmajo’s stay as illegal, Ahmed said the government had failed to organise both parliamentary and presidential elections, adding that Farmajo, whose term ended on February 8, has been in office illegally for six days.

News Central reports that Farmajo’s government had missed a December 2020 deadline to hold polls after months of disagreements and the country’s leadership failing to find a clear path for the implementation of the September pre-election deal that was signed by the federal government and member states in Mogadishu.

There was no way forward for presidential elections to be held without a new parliament in place.

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“The government wasted time in pushing for a one person one vote, which was not possible at all. Unfortunately, it did not implement as agreed on the indirect elections [a model where selected delegates elect members of parliament who choose the next president] as agreed on in September 2020,” Ahmed said on Sunday.

The presidential candidate’s coalition has asked all Mogadishu residents to come out in large numbers and protest about the elections.

However, there is a fear of violence and analysts say it’s hard to predict the consequences of such a call in a city where it is already hard to maintain law and order.

Somalia’s leaders are yet to agree on the election framework as the international community continues to pressure them.

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