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PM Khaire warns of constitutional crisis should elections be delayed

MOGADISHU (HOL) -  Somalia will plunge into political and constitutional crisis should elections be delayed, Prime Minister Hassan Khaire has said pouring cold water on proposals by the electoral body NIEC which sought up to 13 months to conduct the exercise.

Chairing the cabinet Thursday, the Prime Minister warned against ‘thoughts of term extension’ noting stakeholders must put minds together to deliver the poll within the constitutional timelines.

“The elections should take place on its time and [we have to] to refrain from any idea related to extension because the extension could lead to political, security and constitutional crisis,” the PM said.

The PM’s remarks which echoes calls by the opposition but runs counter to NIEC’s expectations and that of the international community now puts pressure on President Mohamed Farmaajo and the Federal Member State leaders to engage and arrive at a compromise for a negotiated electoral formula.

A National Security Council meeting this week which would have discussed the elections issue failed to kick off. FMS leaders are meeting in Dhusamareb in Galmudug tomorrow to forge consensus.

The National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) last week ruled out any elections this year based on the current electoral law noting the earliest an election can take place is March 2021.

This, the NIEC chairperson Halima Yarey was based on the account the country settles for manual voter registration which should start this month.

The second option, the electoral boss said was to opt for biometric voter registration in which case the country will be ready for elections in August 2021.

The international community welcomed the proposals in what many Somalis said amounted to endorsement of term extension.

The term of the current parliament ends December 27 while that of the President lapses by February 8, 2021.

A compromise would mean Somalia resorts to an electoral version akin to the 2016 one which saw 14,025 delegates elect the 275-member Lower House while Federal Member States parliaments elected the 54 senators.

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