Somalia: Opposition welcomes PM Roble’s leadership in electoral administration and security.

A coalition of opposition presidential candidates has issued a statement welcoming Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to take over responsibility for the country’s election administration and security.

In a statement, the candidates said they were ready to support Prime Minister Roble in fulfilling his national duty.

“The council urges Prime Minister Roble to take steps to demonstrate he has the authority to fulfil his duties independently, in order to earn the trust of the military, politicians, the public and the international community,” the statement said.

Roble, who is not a presidential candidate, unlike Farmajo, is seen by opposition candidates as leading the way in making the country more open to contesting elections.

“The Council stands ready to work closely with the Prime Minister in holding free and fair elections soon, and we are ready to attend the consultative meeting to raise concerns about the implementation of the 17th September agreement,” the statement added.

Opposition candidates emphasize the need to reunify the divided Somali armed forces over Farmajo’s bid for an additional two-year extension.

“As the national army is divided over the rejection and defence of the illegal extension, the Council proposes that in order to reunite the army, the government should appoint a leadership that can unite the army and build trust among them. The Council warns a retaliation against the army faction that refused the extension, and their rights to be violated.”

Somalia’s lower house of parliament has suspended legislation passed on April 12 to extend its term and the president for two more years.