Somalia has delayed the lower house elections again. The electoral committee has pushed back the deadline for completing the election until March 31.
The electoral commission announced the latest postponement on Tuesday. The election is already more than a year overdue. The lower house elections were due to be completed on March 15. However, only three of Somalia’s five states had selected their representatives by the deadline. The country failed to complete elections for the lower house of parliament by Tuesday. Consequently, the commission had to delay the election again. Now, Somalia will need to complete presidential and legislative elections by March 31.
South West and Galmudug concluded the election of their representatives by Tuesday. However, 39 of 275 seats remained unfilled in Hirshabelle, Jubaland, and Puntland states. The Federal Election Implementation Team (FEIT) said these vacancies would be filled by the end of the month.
Reportedly, the results of the lower and upper house ballots will be announced on March 31. The election committee said that all elected representatives would be sworn into office in Mogadishu on April 14.
The elections were supposed to be completed before President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s term expired in February 2021. The President reportedly tried to extend his rule by decree but faced protests and violent opposition in Mogadishu. The opposition fought in the streets against this decision. Reportedly, opposition fighters opened fire in the streets of Mogadishu.
He also appointed his prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble. However, the relationship between the two leaders deteriorated. In recent months, a bitter rivalry between the two men derailed the election. In 2010-2011, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed served as Prime Minister of Somalia for six months.
Somalia’s key foreign backer, the United States, has imposed travel sanctions on key political figures because of the delay in the election.