Somalia's president says PM suspended as elections spat deepens

AFP

2 min read
Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed looks on during a parliamentary session, in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 1, 2021.
AP Photo/Farah Abdi WarsamehSomalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed looks on during a parliamentary session, in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 1, 2021.

Premier accused of interfering with investigation into land grabbing case

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed announced Monday that he was suspending Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, a day after the two men sparred over long-delayed elections in the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

"The president decided to suspend Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and stop his powers since he was linked with corruption," the office of the president said in a statement, accusing the premier of interfering with an investigation into a land grabbing case.

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Relations between the president, better known as Farmajo, and Roble have long been frosty, with the latest development raising fresh fears for Somalia's stability as it struggles to hold elections.

On Sunday, Roble accused the president of sabotaging the electoral process, after Farmajo withdrew the prime minister's mandate to organize the elections and called for the creation of a new committee to "correct" the shortcomings.

Roble, who has not responded to Monday's suspension announcement, said Farmajo did not want to hold "a credible election in this country."

Farmajo in turn has accused Roble of trying to influence a probe into a scandal involving army-owned land after the premier sacked the defense minister and replaced him on Sunday.

"The prime minister has pressurized the minister of defense to divert the investigations of the case relating to the grabbed public land," Monday's statement said.

Somalia's elections have been hamstrung by delays for several months.