Somalia: Farmaajo suspends PM as US, UK call for swift and credible conclusion
MOGADICHE – Outgoing Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has “suspended” the powers of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, a statement released by the president’s office said on Sunday.
“The president decided to suspend Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and stop his powers because he was linked to corruption,” the statement said, accusing Roble of interfering with an investigation into a land grabbing case.
Roble’s suspension of powers comes after he and Mohamed entered a war of words on Sunday, accusing each other of delaying the country’s ongoing parliamentary elections.
What we know so far
President Mohamed said the prime minister’s powers would remain on hold pending an investigation into allegations of corruption and misconduct.
Roble “has entered the fray with allegations of corruption and embezzlement of public funds, and an investigation is underway to determine the allegations, the work and powers of the Prime Minister have been suspended pending an investigation” , indicates the press release of the president.
He added that the other members of the Council of Ministers would continue their functions in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country.
What happens with the elections?
The elections, which began on November 1, were due to end on December 24. However, a newly elected parliamentarian said only 24 of the 275 lawmakers were elected on Saturday, Reuters news agency reported.
Earlier Sunday, the president’s office said Roble “poses a serious threat to the electoral process and is overstepping his mandate.”
The prime minister’s office responded by claiming that President Mohamed had spent “so much time, energy and money to derail the national elections” and that he “derailed the electoral process”.
In April this year, clashes erupted between factions of the security forces allied to Mohamed and Roble, as the prime minister and the opposition denounced a decision to extend the presidential term from four years to two years.
The groups seized neighborhoods in the capital Mogadishu, forcing around 60,000 to 100,000 people to flee their homes.
The showdown was resolved when Mohamed put the prime minister in charge of security and the organization of the delayed elections.
US calls for ‘credible and swift’ conclusion
The United States on Sunday called for a “credible and swift conclusion” of the ballot box in Somalia.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the continuing delays and procedural irregularities which have undermined the credibility of the process,” the US State Department said.
The United States also supported the call for an in-person National Advisory Council this week to speed up the electoral process.
The prime minister added in his statement on Sunday that he would hold a meeting on Monday to find solutions to speed up the elections.
President Mohamed’s office also said it would hold a meeting, separately, on the elections and “agree on a leadership capable of conducting timely and transparent elections.”
This report was compiled in part with material from the Reuters news agency.
Edited by: Rebecca Staudenmaier
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