A section of Somali members of parliament have filed a motion to impeach President Mohamed Abdulahi Farmajo, a move that could threaten the country’s stability as it struggles to rebound from 30 years of civil unrest.
The lawmakers filed the motion on Sunday, December 9th, accusing the president of violating the constitution and the presidential powers, citing some including ‘secret deals’ the president has signed with leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea. They said the president did not consult the parliament and kept the details of the deal from the public.
Ninety lawmakers – representing a third of the country’s 275 members – have signed the motion and submitted it to the speaker. A successful impeachment requires the support of 275 legislators. It will take weeks before parliament debates the motion.
This development comes at a time when Somalia is embroiled in a tense political situation. There are disagreements between the federal and state governments over several pressing issues including the national security, particularly the fight against terrorism, and resource sharing.
In September, state governments announced they have cut working relations with the government in Mogadishu.
State government leaders welcomed the lawmakers’ move to impeach the president.
“The government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has disintegrated the state governments and undermined them. The federal government deliberately and intentionally turned a deaf ear in the fight against terrorism that led al-Shabab and Isis to collect tax from the public, and kill anyone who refuses. Therefore, we welcome his removal,” the cooperation council of Somali state governments said.
Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991, when a coalition of clan militias toppled President Mohamed Siyad Bare.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group is fighting to overthrow the government and wants to implement its own version of a strict Islamic sharia. The group has been driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but it is still capable of carrying out attacks against the government as well as civilian casualties. Last week, it killed two senior military commanders and seven soldiers in a landmine attack near Mogadishu.