SOMALIA: Rumble in Mogadishu
Brawl in Somalia’s parliament leaves Members of Parliament hospitalized
MOGADISHU — Three parliamentarians were sent to hospital after verbal disputes concerning the election of a new speaker turned physical for members of Somalia’s parliament.
Fighting erupted in the horn of Africa country’s parliament because supporters of Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who was controversially voted out as the speaker last month, were against a vote for a new speaker.
According to the BBC, MPs threw punches and hit each other with chairs while some used pens to stab one another.
“The lawmakers gave their majority votes to (new speaker) Madobe Nunow who replaces the former speaker,” Ahmed Dhimbil Roble, Somalia’s deputy speaker and chair of the session told newsmen after the marathon session, according to Toronto Star.
President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed reportedly dismissed the vote as illegal, an indication that the country’s executive recognizes one speaker, while the majority of parliamentarians support a different one.
Somalia’s government has launched an investigation over the late Wednesday incident.
Somalia has not had a functional government since 1991 when a civil war broke out. The internationally backed Transitional Federal Government, without an effective control over the entire country, was created in 2004 with a five-year mandate expected to culminate into a representative government after national elections.