President Mohamed Farmaajo has ruled out any plans of term extension and challenged Federal Member States to stick to mandated terms amid claims by the opposition the President was hatching a plan to stay in office longer.
Farmaajo said he had no intentions to hold on to power when his term comes to a close February 2021 in response to accusations from opposition parties the Federal Government had injected clauses in the Elections Bills to allow for an extension on certain circumstances.
“Every elected leader has an end date in office; whether it is at Federal level or Federal Member States,” the head of state said during the SYL 76th anniversary in Mogadishu.
“We don’t want to add even a single day because that will create public mistrust.” The President also challenged FMS leaders to abide by timelines. Both Jubbaland and Galmudug leaders are facing elections in August and July respectively. Talks on possible extension for Galmudug’s Ahmed Haaf collapsed in Garowe last week after the Federal Government maintained elections must be held in July.
Oppositions parties-UPD, Wadajir, NDP and NPP said in a joint statement Monday the Federal Government had intentions to use article 56 of the Elections Bills to create room for term extension.
“The parties are deeply concerned that the mandate of the current Federal Government will be extended by taking advantage of the aforementioned (Elections) Bill.”
Article 56 of the Elections Bill contemplates 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.
But in his response last night, the President said term timelines are constitutionally set and not ‘a personal thing’.
Reacting to the President’s comments, Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur welcomed the President’s assurance but called for removal of article 56 of the Elections Bill.
“In order to be believed, the Elections Bill which the Federal Government approved must be reviewed to delete Article 56,” Abdishakur said in a tweet.