Somalis express mixed reactions following end of President’s term

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The extension of President Hassan Sheikh Mohanud’s term by 50 days following its elapse September 10 has drawn varied reactions across the political divide with some calling for him to hand over power while others aver there can’t be any vacuum in the Presidency.

Former Prime Minister and current presidential candidate Abdiweli Sheikh Mohamed called on the president to hand over power to the speaker of Parliament Osman Jawari noting his term elapsed Sunday.

“Tonight marks the end of President Mohamud’s term. Therefore from today onwards we refer to him as former president. He should hand over power to the Speaker of Parliament in accordance with the constitution,” said Mohamed.

Ex envoy to Kenya and presidential candidate Mohamed Ali Nor echoed Mohamed’s sentiments noting the law could not allow President Mohamud to continue staying in office.

But Federal Parliament Judicial committee chair Maryan Arif was of a different opinion noting there was a risk of political vacuum should the president leave office. She acknowledged however President Mohamud’s stay at Villa Somalia had come to a close.

“As Parliament we do not want to necessitate a political vacuum although we acknowledge the president’s term has some to an end. He should continue until a new president is elected.” Said Maryan.

President Mohamud’s four year term ended September 10 but the National Leadership Forum announced in August it was extending his stay in office until a new president is sworn in following the October 30 presidential vote.

Former Education Minister in Puntland state Ali Haji Warsame said President Mohamud was no longer the president of Somalia since his term ended Sunday. “Should he resist handing over power to the speaker, then we will consider him belligerent,” said Warsame.

Some callers blamed the government of leading the country to the current situation while others asked for a compromise to ensure the country goes into the polls without any difficulties.

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