Fistfight erupts in Somali parliament
05 January 2012, 17:50
Mogadishu - Fistfights erupted in Somalia's
parliament late Wednesday as lawmakers elected a new speaker in a move
condemned by the troubled nation's president as "null and void".
supporters of Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan - sacked as speaker in a
controversial move last month by 280 MPS - were injured in the latest of
several parliamentary brawls.
The MPs were beaten by colleagues
during the rowdy vote but despite the violence a majority of 287
lawmakers chose Madobe Nunow from five other candidates.
lawmakers gave their majority votes to Madobe Nunow who replaces the
former speaker, and from now on the new speaker will lead parliament,"
said Ahmed Dhimbil Roble, deputy speaker and chair of the session.
But the election was denounced by the national security committee, chaired by President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
reviewing the current security and political situation of the country
and the chaos in the parliament, the National Security Committee decided
that the session of today - and others it followed - have no legal
foundation," a committee statement said.
"All of its outcomes are null and void."
apparent inability of Somalia's transitional leadership to conduct even
its own parliament peacefully offers a grim prospect for the war-torn
nation, where elections are due August under a UN-backed deal.
writ of the Western-backed government, which controls only Mogadishu
with the capital defended from al-Qaeda linked Shabaab rebels by a 10
000-strong African Union force, will then expire.
The MPs who
sacked Adan in December were upset that he had not convened the 550-seat
parliament for two months. His reasons for doing so remain unclear, and
he has denounced the sessions as illegal.
Fistfights are common in Somalia's unruly parliament, where lawmakers have even pulled guns on each other.
who has difficult ties with the president, also held the speaker's
chair between 2004 and 2007. He retook the post in 2010 after a
political dispute forced his predecessor from office.