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No term extension for current government- Speaker Mursal

There is no term extension for the current administration, Lower House Speaker Mohamed Mursal has said amid concerns President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration could explore loopholes in the current elections law to extend its stay in power in light of COVID-19 pandemic.

Mursal said in a media interview the Constitution was clear on the terms of an elected government noting the law sets the four years duration unequivocally.

“This country has a constitution. Articles 60 and 91 of the Provisional Constitution states that the term of parliament and president is four years so there is no extension period and we must be prepared for election,” Mursal said.

According to article 91 of the Provisional Constitution, the ‘The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia shall hold office for a term of four (4) years, starting from the day he takes the oath of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, in accordance with Article 96 of the Constitution.’

Article 60 sets the term of parliament as four  years from the day of the announcement of the election results.

There have been reports of possible extension of term for the current administratiin especially because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Article 53 of the recently passed Elections Law gives powers the electoral commission NIEC to delay elections in cases of ‘natural disasters and calamities.’

Somalia is currently battling a fast spreading COVID-19 pandemic which has since infected 286 people as the numbers rise by over 20 in a day since the beginning of the month.

Mursal also noted parliament will re-open in May despite the potential of breaching the social distance rule to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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