News ID: 321024
Published: 0233 GMT April 15, 2022

Somalia swears in lawmakers, paving way for presidential vote

Somalia swears in lawmakers, paving way for presidential vote
FEISAL OMAR/REUTERS

Somalia's newly elected lawmakers place their hands on copies of the Holy Qur’an as they are sworn in to office at the Afisyoni election hall in Mogadishu, Somalia, on April 14, 2022.

Somalia inaugurated 290 new lawmakers, bringing the country a step closer to completing a prolonged electoral process marred by alleged corruption and irregularities.

The ceremony was held on Thursday in the capital’s heavily fortified Halane military camp, protected by sandbagged fences and high concrete walls. Somali police and African Union troops were deployed to the surrounding areas, putting Mogadishu under lockdown, Al Jazeera reported.

Dozens more legislators are yet to be selected and sworn in. Later the lawmakers will elect speakers and deputies for both parliamentary chambers before they sit to choose a new president.

“We are observing a new set of parliamentarians taking over from others. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate parliamentarians who have been sworn in today. This is a huge responsibility assigned on you by your constituents, and it is a vote of confidence,” said Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

The swearing-in took place as the UN humanitarian coordinator in Somalia warned that “the country is facing a very real risk of famine”.

Adam Abdelmoula said in a video briefing for UN reporters in New York that severe drought has compounded humanitarian needs, and 6 million people “need food assistance immediately”.

The UN asked for $1.5b to meet humanitarian needs in Somalia in 2022, but he said that “we have received just 4.4 per cent.”

Hussein Sheikh Ali of the Mogadishu-based research group Hiraal Institute said the inauguration of lawmakers “marks a great relief day for all Somalis and (the) international community who invested in Somalia to move forward”.

In recent years, Somalia has begun to find its footing after 30 years of chaos from strongmen and the abundance of armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Daesh terrorist groups.

Somalia’s parliamentary and presidential polls were delayed for more than a year amid political turmoil after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s mandate expired in February 2021 without a successor in place. Lower house elections that were to be completed on March 15 are still not complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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