Tight security as Somalia holds speaker elections

Somalia has been in a political limbo since the expiry of President Mohamed Farmajo's term last February

Major roads have been closed in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, ahead of elections for the speaker of the parliament’s lower house.

Journalists have been barred from accessing the venue of the polls to be held in a heavily fortified air force hangar, reports say.

After delays of more than a year, Somalia is a step closer to holding presidential polls with Wednesday’s election of the speaker.

But the exercise has been marred by a fresh row between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble over who should handle security at the elections venue.

The president wants the police deployed there but the prime minister has directed African Union peacekeepers to oversee security.

The chief of police has been sacked after saying on Tuesday that he couldn’t guarantee the safety of the exercise.

Meanwhile several MPs from Gabaharey and Elewak towns have been barred from participating in the elections, with the government saying their election and swearing-in was unconstitutional.

Somalia has been in a political limbo since last February following the expiry of President Farmajo’s four-year term.

He’s continued to stay in power and has constantly clashed with the prime minister.


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