Don’t Run for Reelection, Somali Opposition Urge Farmaajo

PHOTO | COURTESY

The Somali Council of Presidential Candidates has urged president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to step aside and not to run for re-election.

In a press statement issued Tuesday, the presidential candidates’ council accused the president of violating the constitution and refusing to inform the country about the status of Somali recruits sent to Eritrea for military training.

The Somali soldiers are suspected of fighting alongside Ethiopian forces in Tigray region.

President Farmaajo, whose term expired in February, has yet to announce whether he will run in the upcoming presidential election in October.

On Sunday, Mohamed Hassan Irro was elected to lead the electoral body. Irro got 14 votes, while his main challenger, Liban Mohamed Hassan, received ten votes. 

Irro was the Federal Election Implementation Team chairman for a few months before it was disbanded in April after some federal member states and opposition groups accused it of bias and plotting to rig the election for President Farmaajo.

Some political observers see the appointment of Irro as a victory for Farmaajo’s administration. Some presidential candidates and federal states are said to have backed Irro’s main opponent Hassan.

Irro will lead a team of 123 commissioners who will oversee the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. The constitution of the electoral body paves the way for election preparations after many months of delays.

According to a schedule released by the National Consultative Council, elections for lower and upper houses will take place between July and September. Then the 329 lawmakers will choose the president in October.