Somalia – From Monday Somalia began electing lawmakers for its lower house of parliament. The first two lawmakers for the next 275-member lower house of national parliament were elected at a voting ceremony in the capital Mogadishu under heavy security however, it is predicted that the next phase will be a long and tiring one toward a presidential vote as it is taking the shape of violent protests.
Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble mentioned that he is delighted that they have officially started the election of the Somali lower house. Earlier in the month of May, political leaders agreed on creating a framework for parliamentary elections to be held within 60 days, which will avert a crisis that could push the fragile Horn of Africa country into political violence.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the leaders of Somalia’s five states had been unable to agree on the terms of a vote before his term lapsed in February, triggering an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
The political impasse exploded into violence in April when negotiations collapsed and the lower house of parliament extended the president’s mandate by two years, sparking gun battles on the streets of Mogadishu.
Under pressure, the president, commonly known as Farmajo, reversed the mandate extension and ordered his prime minister to reconvene with the state leaders to chart a fresh roadmap towards elections.
The constitutional crisis was only defused when President Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, reversed the term extension and his prime minister, Roble, brokered a timetable to a vote. Although, it should be noted that the country still battles the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group, which controlled Mogadishu until 2011 when it was pushed out by African Union troops, but still holds territory in the countryside.