Senate Speaker re-elected in Somalia

Senate Speaker re-elected in Somalia

The Speaker of Somalia’s Senate has been re-elected, a key step for the country to be able to hold presidential elections.

Abdi Hashi Abdullahi was re-elected by the 54-seat upper house during a vote that took place in a highly secured compound in the capital, Mogadishu.

His appointment means all that remains before presidential elections can take place is to vote for the Speaker of the 275-member lower house, the chamber of parliament which wields more power and influence in Somalia.

The country uses a complex and indirect political system and political parties do not contest elections. Nor do one-person-one-vote elections take place.

Instead, the lower house is chosen by delegates appointed by clan elders and members of civil society who are selected by regional state officials. Senators represent Somalia’s five regional states. The two houses vote for a president.

The country has missed several deadlines to conclude elections, resulting in sanctions against MPs by the US.

The rivalry between the country’s president and the prime minister has fuelled the delays, which militants have capitalised on by stepping up attacks in Mogadishu and targeting electoral delegates.

  

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