Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble instructed the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on Tuesday to immediately take over the security of the Afisiyoni tent, where the election of the Lower House Speaker will take place on Wednesday.
The election of the Lower House Speaker and deputies is expected to take place in Mogadishu’s heavily fortified Halane military compound, protected by sandbagged fences and high concrete walls.
In a Facebook post, the Prime Minister said that the ATMIS leadership would work closely with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministries of Security and Defense, and the interim Speaker of Parliament.
“The list of MPs entering the Afisiyooni tent will be submitted by the interim speaker of the parliament. Then the prime minister’s office will check and submit it to ATMIS”, the Prime Minister said.
Roble made the request despite the AU-trained Somali Police Force (SPF) already being tasked with running election security operations.
There are 32 MPs elected from the Gedo constituency in two separate elections in Elwak and Garbaharey. Although both sets of lawmakers were sworn into office on Monday in Mogadishu, it is unclear who will be allowed to enter the Afisiyoni tent to vote for the Lower House Speakers election.
The Prime Minister has publicly supported the 16 MPs elected in Elwak and nullified the other 16 lawmakers elected in Garbaharey. Interim Speaker of the Lower House, Abdisalam Dhabanad, who swore the MPs elected in Elwak, insisted that the Elwak MPs would participate in the upcoming parliamentary proceedings and that their results had been certified and signed by the federal election commission.
The PM’s comment comes as the committee chairman to elect the House Speakers, Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, accused police chief General Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hijar and Villa Somalia of spoiling the electoral process.
However, Dispute Resolution Committee chairman, Mohamed Awil Warsame, has dismissed the two elections in Elwak and Garbaharey in the Gedo region as illegal. He said that both violated the September 17th agreement reached by the leaders of the National Consultative Forum.
Somalia’s President also called the two elections illegal and said that the MPs elected in Elwak and Garbaharey would not participate in the Speakers or the Presidential election.