Somali members of parliament are set to elect a new speaker today following the resignation earlier this month of the post’s holder, Mohamed Osman Jawari, following a major political crisis.
Jawari resigned on 9 April ahead of a confidence motion against him, ending weeks of political tension between the legislature and the executive.
Jawari held the post for nearly six years and had a fractious relationship with some legislators, including over a decision he took in 2015 to withdraw an impeachment motion against former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Ahead of today’s vote, security has been tightened in the capital, Mogadishu, and some of the city’s main thoroughfares shut over fears of attacks.
The election will take place inside parliament building which is close to the capital’s busy Makka Almukarramah street.
Hundreds of security forces have been deployed around parliament and at major roads.
Mr Jawari, of the Digil and Mirifle clan, left the post after MPs loyal to Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire accused him of “violating” parliamentary rules and of slowing down parliamentary business, allegations he vehemently denied.
The existing clan power-sharing arrangement in the country means the next speaker is most likely to come from Mr Jawari’s clan.
Jawari, 73, was first elected speaker in 2012 and re-elected in January 2017 for a second four-year term.