Monday, 13 May, 2024

Somalia: Parliament elects new speaker breaking political deadlock



The move paves the way for a presidential vote in Somalia after more than a year of political deadlock.

The vote took place in a tent inside Mogadishu's heavily-guarded airport complex under tight security.
The vote took place in a tent inside Mogadishu’s heavily-guarded airport complex under tight security. (AFP)

Somalia's parliament has elected a veteran politician as speaker of the lower house, as the nation edges closer to holding a delayed presidential vote.

The election is well over a year behind schedule and Somalia's international partners have been pushing for the process to pick up speed.

Following the election of the upper house speaker on Tuesday, lawmakers in the lower house chose Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur, better known as Sheikh Adan Madobe, as speaker in a drawn-out process that extended into two rounds and only concluded in the early hours of Thursday.

The vote took place in a tent inside Mogadishu's heavily-guarded airport complex under tight security, following a spate of attacks in recent weeks by Al Shabab terror group.

READ MORE:Somalia's PM Roble orders African Union envoy to leave country

Vote to elect president

The vote had been due to take place on Wednesday but was delayed by a dispute over who should provide security at the venue, highlighting the continuing rifts between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

Madobe, 66, who had previously served as speaker between 2007 and 2010, secured 163 votes out of the 252 ballots cast. He is not known to be allied with either the president or prime minister.

Farmajo congratulated Madobe, saying in a statement that he hoped his election "becomes a starting point for a greater change that saves the country".

Roble also offered his congratulations on Twitter, urging the speakers of both houses to "carry out their responsibilities and conduct the presidential election in a transparent, prompt and peaceful manner".

On Tuesday, 76-year-old Abdi Hashi Abdullahi was re-elected speaker of the upper house.

Parliament will now set a date for lawmakers to choose a president – the country has not held a one-person, one-vote election in 50 years.

READ MORE:Somalia’s first all-women newsroom aspires to change the media scene

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