Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
Somalia’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to remove Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in a no-confidence vote last Saturday, citing his failure to prepare the country for democratic elections by early next year. The surprise move, which was supported by 170 of Parliament’s 178 lawmakers, follows Khaire’s dispute with President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed over the timing of national elections. Though preparations have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing insecurity in Somalia, Khaire was pushing for the vote to take place by early 2021 as scheduled. The president, known as Farmajo, favored a delay.
With Khaire’s ouster, it is unclear when elections will actually happen or what they will look like. The elections have taken on heightened significance after leaders promised a nationwide ballot based on the principle of “one person, one vote,” in what would be Somalia’s first democratic elections since 1969. The country has been using a complex system in which elders and clan leaders choose lawmakers, who then select the president.