THE POLITICAL stand-off over the motion against Lower House Speaker Mohamed Jawari is escalating unabated as the Lower House leadership is now at loggerheads over when the motion should be tabled.
The motion has created sharp divisions in the House with one faction headed by 1st Deputy Speaker Mohamed Mudey and another by second deputy Mahad Awad who is reported to be allied to Jawari.
Mudey announced Sunday the motion will be tabled March 31 drawing a quick rejoinder from Awad who dismissed the move as a ‘one man show’. “The leadership of the House must jointly agree on the dates for business. It cannot be decided by one person” Awad said in a media conference Sunday.
According to a statement issued by Jawari mid this month, the motion which was received by the House leadership March 14 ought to have been tabled within ten days’ time which in effect lapsed yesterday (Sunday). The motion failed to take off earlier after a the quorum hitch following the withdrawal of 16 MPs in the initial list leaving 91 MPs- one number shy of the requisite 92.
A Senate committee mediating In the political stalemate in its second statement yesterday called for a time extension. It recommended the life of the motion be affixed to have started March 18 so that the ten days timeline should lapse this Wednesday. Failure to table it within then, the ad hoc committee said, the motion should suffer a natural death.
The committee also sought the intervention of President Mohamed Farmaajo calling on him to pressure the two factions to agree on a common ground to address the political impasse. The stand-off, the committee observed is threatening political, security and economic stability in the country.
As Awad and Mudey factions traded barbs Sunday afternoon, Al-Shabaab drove close to parliament claiming at least three lives in a bomb explosion at the entrance of Interior Headquarters which is a stone throw away from the Lower House buildings.
A lawmaker told Goobjoog News Saturday ‘power from above’ was holding Mudey hostage against setting a date for the motion, ‘as the other faction works on the numbers’.
The Senate committee had also last week asked the government to withdraw a new security team deployed in the Lower House buildings in the wake of the motion but so far the government has stuck to its earlier position terming the deployment a normal security procedure.
To unseat the Speaker, at least 184 MPs must cast their vote in favour of the motion. A section of MPs from South West state assembly is reportedly pushing for Jawari’s ouster even as reports supposedly indicate South West state president Sharif Adan known for his mastery in the political chess game in Somalia is behind forces to kick out Jawari.
The stakes are high for both sides. A loss for Jawari could have a destabilizing effect for the Lower House creating fault-lines among lawmakers hence adversely hindering the functioning of the House. But proponents of the motion see Jawari as an insurance of the status quo in the legislative body blocking progressive thinking. Jawari has been in office since 2012. He is also MP from South West state.
A win on the other hand for the proponents of the motion who are allied to the Prime Minister Hassan Khaire could be short lived as it would suddenly trigger another motion against him. A political analyst who did not want to be named for this story said getting a 184 MPs to unseat Jawari is a tall order but ‘should they marshal the numbers, you can be sure Hassan Khaire’s goose is cooked’.
To remove the PM, a simple majority (50+1) which translates to 139 votes is needed. This lowers the threshold for those bent on relieving the PM of his seat.
A precedent set by former administration headed by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud set the lifespan of a Prime Minister to one year. Khaire came to office last March and this motion could decide if he can break the jinx.