Monday April 12, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - A parliamentary session in Somalia's capital Mogadishu was derailed on Monday after a police commander announced that he was suspending the meeting.
Banaadir Regional Police boss Brig. Gen. Sadak Omar Hassan has ordered MPs to stay away from parliament, noting their mandate had expired.
Hassan, popularly known as Sadak John, said he was in charge of the city's security. All parties, whether government or opposition, will be treated equally before the law.
But in an unprecedented move that could generate more debate over separation of powers, Sadak John spoke directly to parliament, 'ordering' them to stay away 'until a new parliament is elected.
Brig. Gen Sadak Omar Hassan (John) made the announcement on Universal TV where he called on Somalia's lawmakers to seek an extension from their constituents.
"You (MPs) were given four years, and now that time is up. You were voted in, so please go back to your constituents and ask them to send you back to parliament for another term. I urge you not to seek an extension illegally."
The police commander who was recently handed over airport security seemed to differ from his boss President Mohamed Farmaajo. The latter has been banking on the Lower House to secure an extended stay in office.
It is widely believed that the Speaker called Monday's parliamentary session to table a two-year extension for President Farmajo and the Parliament.
Sadak John also asked the Prime Minister to 'exercise his powers.' Some sources had hinted at an agreement between the regional police boss and the PM.
The Federal Parliament's term ended on December 27, 2020, while that of the President lapsed on February 8, 2021, in line with the Provisional Constitution.
Parliament is yet to respond.
More to follow.