President Muse Bihi Abdi’s current term has been extended by lawmakers in Somaliland, the country’s breakaway region, by two years before it is set to expire in November, according to the senate chairman.
The region’s electoral body announced last month that a presidential election scheduled for November had been postponed to 2023 due to, among other things, time and financial constraints. It wasn’t clear if the poll had been discontinued.
The chairman of Somaliland’s senate, Saleeban Mahmoud Aden, reported that 72 lawmakers voted on Saturday to extend Abdi’s term by “two years.” MP objected.
Opposition supporters began staging violent protests in the area in August, demanding elections be held in November amid rumors the president wanted to put off the vote and keep his job. The opposition did not immediately respond to the parliament’s decision to extend the president’s term.
Although Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991, its independence has not been widely acknowledged internationally. Despite Somalia’s three decades of civil war, the area has remained largely peaceful.