Somalia: President ‘suspends’ prime minister over corruption charges

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia has suspended the Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and removed the commander of the marine forces until corruption investigations are concluded, deepening a destabilising disagreement in the Horn of Africa.

“The president’s office said in a statement that he decided to suspend prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and stop his powers since he was linked with corruption, and accused the prime minister of obstructing an inquiry into a land grabbing case.

According to Reuters, he would be suspended until the corruption investigations against him are completed.

The suspension comes a day after the two leaders had a verbal altercation, accusing each other of being a hindrance to the election process’s postponement.

According to Channel News Asia, the parliamentary election, which began on November 1, was intended to be concluded by December 24. However, one of the newly elected MPs stated that, as of Saturday, just 24 of the 275 representatives had been elected.

Following that, the president convened a meeting to map the course for elections, slamming the prime minister for failing to carry out his mission of guiding the country to the polls.

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In a statement on Sunday, the Presidential office said Prime Minister Roble was “posing a serious threat to the electoral process and overstepping his mandate.”.

In Somalia’s convoluted indirect voting system, regional councils are supposed to elect a senate. Clan elders are then expected to choose members of the lower house, which would subsequently select a new president.

The president’s move reignites a feud that had been laid to rest when he placed Roble in charge of security and organised the country’s first direct elections in more than three decades.

(With inputs from agencies)

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