The current administration is plotting an extension of its term through certain provisions of the Elections Bills, opposition parties in the country have said.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the parties; NDP, UPD, Wadajir and NPP said the Elections Bill is yet to be tabled in Parliament created loopholes to allow President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration to stay in power beyond its mandated term.
“The parties are deeply concerned that the mandate of the current Federal Government will be extended by taking advantage of the aforementioned (Elections) Bill,” the statement read in part.
The article referred to by the parties is article 56 of the Elections Bill will contemplate circumstances under which elections can be delayed. They include instances of insecurity, flooding, and drought. In the event of such eventualities, the Bill says, the term of the President shall automatically be extended in concomitance with that of Parliament.
To avert such extensions, the political parties said, Parliament must thoroughly scrutinise the Bills and ‘expunge private, individual or group interest demands’ failure to which the ‘political parties such mobilise a national convention bringing together all Somalis to rectify the problems’.
The opposition parties have also taken issue with the formula for the election of the President as contemplated by the Bill. According to article 12 of the Elections Bill, the candidate who gets the majority votes (50+1) shall be declared President. However, if no party candidate manages the 50+1 threshold, parties can join forces and subsequently form a coalition government having agreed on a joint candidate.
But the parties noted the article offends article 89 of the Provisional Constitution which provides for a two-thirds majority threshold for one to be declared president.
The political parties also said they were disappointed by the failure of the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to reach any agreements during the Garowe talks last week.