Somalia agrees to delay elections for one year

The Somali President and Speaker of the Parliament have come to an agreement to push back elections in the war-torn country another year. Although the UN is applauding the deal as a political breakthrough, Somali citizens showed anger by protesting in the capital. For FSRN, Mohammed Yusuf has the story

The so-called “Kampala Accord” delays the election of the President, the speaker and his deputies by one year. The agreement was signed by Transitional President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the Speaker of the Parliament in the Ugandan capital. It also calls for the resignation of Somalia’s Prime Minister within 30 days. The agreement ends a political stalemate, and officials said the delayed election will help them deal with security issues.

The announcement sparked wide protests in Mogadishu and other parts of the country controlled by the government. Ordinary Somalis, politicians and soldiers loyal to the ousted Prime Minister were among the demonstrators. They blocked streets and burned tires. They see the signing of the accord as a blow to the efforts by the government to defeat Al Shabab militants and bring peace and stability to the country. Somalia has been without a permanent government since 1991.

Rashid Abdi is the Horn of Africa Analyst with the International Crisis Group. He says people are angry about the Prime Minister being pushed out of office.
“He is a prime minister who is beginning to achieve, for his supporters I think this will be a sense of disquiet.”

In February, the transitional federal government extended its mandate to three years beyond the August 2011 deadline for forming a permanent government. The international community protested the decision, and since then, increased pressure on officials to end political bickering and reach an agreement before the government’s terms expires. Mohammed Yusuf, FSRN.

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