Somalia: Will Somalia’s Parliament Oust Prime Minister Roble?

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo announced on Tuesday night that he would seek the approval of returning to the September 17 election agreement from the lower house of parliament. The move comes just hours after Hirshabelle and Galmudug leaders, a close ally of Farmaajo, and Prime minister Roble announced that the only path forward is implementing the September 17 election agreement.

The speaker of the house sent text messages to members of the lower house of parliament and asked them to attend the session on Saturday about the election issues.

However, there are growing rumors that the agenda could be a motion to oust Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble. In a statement on Tuesday, Roble said that he is working to hold elections in the country based on the September 17 election agreement. He welcomed the move by the presidents of HirShabelle and Galmudug states to reject Farmajo’s term extension.

Sources close to the speaker of parliament Mohamed Mursal say the speaker assured that Saturday’s parliamentary session would be limited to a speech by President Farmajo on election issues.

The lower house of the parliament has previously taken steps that were not initially listed on the agenda. On July 25, 2020, the lower house of Somalia’s parliament announced the removal of former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre. The motion against Kheyre was not on the agenda of the parliamentary session, and Kheyre was not allowed to appear before parliament to defend himself against allegations of his impeachment.

Also, on April 12, the lower house of parliament held a session to approve legislation extending President Farmajo’s term. The resolution was not on the agenda, according to opposition MPs.

Analysts believe the lower house may take a similar step on Saturday and remove Prime Minister Roble. There are rumors that President Farmajo is unhappy with Roble’s move and has seen him the most significant challenge against him staying in office for another two years.

Senator Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdid held a press conference in Mogadishu today and warned the lower house of parliament to oust Prime Minister Roble. He said this would hurt efforts by Roble to bring peace in the capital after days of violence.

“I would like to warn the Speaker and the Members of Parliament not to take any step that will disrupt the elections, and if that happens, they will take the consequences. People have been killed, injured and displaced due to their motion to extend the government’s term by two years,” Qeybdid said.

Lawmaker Abdirahman Odowa, a member of the lower house, said Farmaajo had made parliament “a platform that fulfils his wishes.”