House to reopen in May, Speaker Mursal says, dismisses claims of term extension

The Lower House will resume business next month, Speaker Mohamed Mursal has said amid the fast spreading COVID-19 which calls for social distancing.

Mursal said in an interview with BBC Somali the House will reconvene in early May to continue with business noting the House has to engage the National Independent Electoral Commission on how it plans to conduct the elections slated for later in the year.

“It is imperative that the parliament open at the beginning of the fifth month. Please note that the parliament has passed the national elections law, and the national elections commission must meet parliament at the end of May to explain the election and the manner in which it will be held,” Mursal said.

It was not immediately clear if all the 275 members will attend the sessions given the ongoing COVID-19 disease which requires minimal physical engagements especially a large number as that of parliament.

The House speaker also dismissed claims of term extension for the current parliament and government noting the limits are clearly set by the Provisional Constitution.

“This country has a constitution and articles 60 and 91 of the Provisional Constitution states that the term of parliament and president is four years so there is no extension period and we must be prepared for election,” the speaker said.

According to the Elections Law passed by the Federal Parliament early this year, the elections will be based on a one-person-one vote basis adoption a winner takes it all model.

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