By T. Roble
GOOBJOOG NEWS|BAIDOA: The Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET) and the State Indirect Elections Team (SIET) in South West state have differed over the fate of former Lower House speaker Mohamed Jawari who was locked out of the race in Baidoa.
FIET announced Saturday morning the suspension of the seat which Jawari had sought to contest in following the alleged influence from Villa Somalia and State President Abdiasis Lafta Gareen to lock him out.
But the South West SIET subsequently announced that elections for seats including the suspended one will go ahead tomorrow. Jawari returned from Baidoa to Mogadishu on Thursday and accused his opponents of locking him out of the race.
The two-time speaker and veteran politician was hounded out of office in May 2019 in a Villa Somalia orchestrated coup led by Farmaajo and then Prime Minister Hassan Khaire. The removal was part of a wider offensive by Farmaajo to politically eliminate his rivals at federal and state levels.
In his place, Jawari was replaced by Mohamed Mursal who under his watch the Lower House became an appendage of Villa Somalia and the helm of its patronage unilaterally voted to extend Farmaajo’s stay in office by two years in April 2021. However, that illegal resolution was later overturned following local and international pressure.
Another Farmaajo-Lafta Gareen political foe, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan aka Sakin is reportedly facing a blockade in his bid to return to the Lower House. He was blocked by Villa Somalia from defending his South West state presidential seat in 2018 and forced to withdraw from the race.
Sources said Sakin, who is also a presidential candidate is eyeing the speakership, a position he held for two times (15 September 2004 – 17 January 2007 and 25 May 2010 – 20 August 2012). He was a key architect of the Kampala Accord which saw Farmaajo ejected as Prime Minister barely 11 months into office.
Farmaajo would later revisit the matter in late 2018 and paid Sakin by his own token forcing him to resign ahead of the then-presidential elections in December 2018 where at least 15 civilians were killed in pre-election violence.
Whether the election of the contested seat takes place tomorrow remains a wait and see.