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Abdirizak Omar: Villa Hargeisa too dangerous to hold parliamentary speakership elections

The chairman of the committee organizing the election for Lower House Speaker, Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, says the election of the parliamentary Speaker would not take place inside the presidential palace in the capital, citing security concerns.

The committee chairman said the air conditioner for the parliament building had been hit by gunfire, releasing intense heat that made the assembly unbearable.

He added that the committee had made a concerted effort to replace the air conditioners so as not to delay the candidates’ speeches for the Speaker of the House of the People.

“I couldn’t say whether it was intentional or caused by a stray bullet,” Abdirizak said. “When we arrived at the compound, we were told that a bullet had hit the air conditioner, and the next day a mortar shell hit the parliament building.” He added.

A week ago, at least nine people were injured after several mortar shells hit the parliament building where the newly elected lawmakers held a joint session.

The mortar shelling happened a few minutes after the lawmakers approved measures to hold elections for the House of the People and Senate speakers on April 26 and 27.

Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, saying it was targeting the lawmakers.

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