GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Lower House speaker Mohamed Mursal has ordered 15 opposition MPs to stay away from the chamber for the next five sessions following a brawl Saturday that ended proceedings abruptly.
Mursal said in an order Saturday evening the 15 lawmakers will not be allowed to participate in future proceedings until their suspension ends. The order follows chaos in the chamber Saturday after the opposition members shouted down the speaker.
According to the opposition lawmakers, the pro-government lawmakers sought to introduce and pass a motion giving outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo an extended stay in office.
But the speaker said the agenda item of the day was the COVID-19 pandemic which has viciously spread in recent weeks. The Ministry of Health announced 17 more deaths out of COVID-19 Saturday while 174 others tested positive for the virus.
The chaos forced Mursal to leave the chamber without formally adjourning the session.
The opposition MPs claimed that soldiers in plain clothes were allowed into the chamber.
The Lower House passed a resolution last October granting itself an uninterrupted stay in office until a new parliament is constituted. The term of the Federal Parliament ended on December 27, 2020.