#Battle for Jubbaland escalates as Federal Government declares new Jubbaland parliament ‘illegal’

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Somali Federal Government has declared the election of new Jubbaland state assembly a nullity noting the process violated the Federal Constitution and electoral procedures in what could open a new round of battles between the Ahmed Madobe administration and Mogadishu.

Interior Ministry Abdi Mohamed Sabriye said in a statement Saturday the selection of elders and subsequent election of MPs failed the electoral threshold set by the government. According to the letter, the elders who participated in the just concluded controversial poll were not the legitimate ones in the government register.

“Any election which bypasses the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the electoral procedures set by the Interior Ministry is null and void,” the government said.

Coming hot on the heels of the build up to the election of a new president and the ‘swearing in’ of a parallel assembly Thursday, the declaration by the Federal Government could further escalate the hotly contested exercise that has seen the intervention of the international community.

Jubbaland Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (JBIEC) reopened the registration process of presidential candidates Friday following pressure from the UN, AU and the regional body IGAD. The UN called for a ‘a single, agreed electoral process’ warning unless resolved, the political circus could have a destabilising effect on the southerly state.

The rejection of Jubbaland assembly by Mogadishu is not a new phenomenon. In 2015 following the formation of the Interim Jubbaland Administration, the Federal Parliament declared the Jubbaland Assembly illegally constituted but the move posited no legal effect to bar the assembly conducting its business.

The Jubbaland Assembly approved by the JBIEC Saturday re-elected the former Speaker Sheikh Abdi Mohamed Abdirahman and deputies paving way for the election of a new president. The parallel parliament also ‘elected’ Ibrahim Nur Hassan as its speaker.

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