Somalia’s prime minister denounced a proposed extension of the president’s term on Tuesday, piling pressure on Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to hold elections as rival factions in the security forces drew up battle lines in the capital.
The heads of two states in the Horn of Africa nation who had been staunch allies of the president also rejected the proposed two-year extension of Mohamed’s term.
Earlier this month, the lower house of parliament voted to extend his four-years in office after the country failed to hold elections as planned in February, but the Senate rejected the move, provoking the crisis.
“We call for an urgent election. Any form of extension should be cancelled,” the presidents of the Hirshabelle and Galmudug regions said in a joint statement on Facebook.
Prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble then issued his own statement, calling for preparations for a new presidential election and for security arrangements to be beefed up.
“I welcome the statement issued by Galmudug and Hirshabell estates,” he said on Twitter.
Forces loyal to the opposition hold parts of the city and clashed with government forces over the weekend, raising fears that al Qaeda-linked insurgents al Shabaab could exploit a security vacuum as state forces turn on each other.
Discussion with Prof Abdi Samatar on Somalia lawmakers’ vote to extend the presidential term: