The speaker of parliament says 140 MPs supported a return to the September agreement that will allow for indirect presidential and parliamentary elections.
The lower house of the Somali parliament has voted unanimously to restore an agreement reached last year that will allow the country to hold indirect elections.
Last month, parliament had voted to extend the term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed by two years and for the country to hold its future polls under a single-vote system.
The move, however, was rejected by the senate, the prime minister, opposition leaders and four of the country’s six federal member states, prompting a clash in the capital, Mogadishu.
On Saturday, President Mohamed Mursal said 140 lawmakers had voted to reinstate indirect polls based on the September 2020 agreement, with no lawmakers expressing any objections.
In a speech to parliament shortly before the vote, Mohamed, popularly known as Farmaajo, called on lawmakers to support a return to the agreement.
He also said he had directed Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to “lead the process of preparations and implementation of the electoral process, including major electoral security agreements to ensure that the elections have a peaceful and stable environment.”
At the heart of the current crisis in the country is Farmaajo’s failure to hold parliamentary and presidential elections before his term expires in February.
Farmaajo and the federal states had agreed in September to hold indirect elections before the February 8 deadline, whereby special delegates chosen by the elders of the Somali clan choose the legislators who, in turn, elect the president.
Somalia has not held a direct single-vote election with a single person since 1969, and repeated efforts to organize one have been thwarted by security concerns or a lack of political will.
The indirect model has been used before. This time it had to go further in terms of inclusiveness, with twice as many votes and almost twice as many votes as the last 2017 elections.
But he never left the field, with hostilities between Farmaajo and the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland derailing the plan.
The two key states accused Farmaajo of having convened major state and federal election committees with loyalists. The central government rejected its alternatives, with no side agreeing on who would provide security on polling day.