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Somali President Challenged In His Bid To Secure New Term

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GAROWE, Somalia: Somalia’s president, whose four-year term expired this month, should not take part in talks aimed at resolving a dispute that has caused a delay in choosing a new head of state, two of Somalia’s five regional governments said on Sunday.

Parliament had been due to make a choice on Feb. 8, but this was delayed because new lawmakers have yet to be picked while opponents of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is seeking a second term, accuse him of packing his supporters into the regional and national boards who choose the legislators.

The delay has stoked tensions in the Horn of Africa nation that was ripped apart by civil war and which is still battling an insurgency by al Shabaab, an Islamist group that frequently launches attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

The government of Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five regions, said the president’s term had expired and he should be excluded from any talks on the dispute.

“He should not have a role in the process of election in order for all political stakeholders to have confidence in it,” Jubbaland’s state house said in a statement.

A second state, Puntland shared similar sentiments.

“We are not going to a conference with Farmajo…” its president Said Abdulahi Deni said in a televised speech.

The constitution allows the head of state to continue in post until a new president is picked, if parliament approves. But experts say the president, by staying on, risks upsetting the delicate power balance between rival clans and regions that is at the heart of the nation’s political reconstruction effort.

The central government spokesman did not immediately respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

The president held a meeting on Sunday with the prime minister and presidents of the Hirshabele, Galmudug and South West states, as well U.N. representatives and Mogadishu’s mayor.

The meeting was reported by the state-run Somalia News Agency. The Facebook page of the president’s office said it was a preliminary meeting, without saying when more talks would be held.

An alliance of opposition parties said in early February they would reject any attempt to extend Mohamed’s term, calling a national council of lawmakers, opposition leaders and civil society to rule until a successor was chosen.

Government troops and opposition supporters exchanged gunfire in Mogadishu on Friday during a protest over the delayed vote. Rival presidential candidates have called for more protests until a new head of state is chosen.

Somalia had planned to hold elections to pick a president and lawmakers, its first direct vote since civil war erupted in 1991. But delays in preparations and al Shabaab attacks meant this was replaced by an indirect vote in which lawmakers are picked by selected elders and others.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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‘Blackmailers also come to this court’: Delhi HC pulls up petitioner over frivolous PIL

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Courts in India are often burdened with frivolous petitions by litigants who would seek judicial recourse for each and everything under the sun. Over time, the courts have come down hard against such litigants and have even imposed financial penalties to refrain them from filing such petitions. Recently, one such petitioner who filed a petition in Delhi High Court on anticipated water supply shortage in Delhi withdrew his plea after the court questioned his locus standi in the case.

When the petitioner was unable to answer the questions raised by the Delhi Court, he offered to withdraw the plea. To this, the court said, “Yes you better withdraw it, warna jo kaam karte ho woh bhi bandh ho jayega.”

The petitioner had filed a plea seeking the court to direct the state of Himachal Pradesh to release water through Western Yamuna Canal on the basis of MOU dated 20.12.2019 HP & GNCTD, and order Haryana to facilitate this water to reach Delhi.

However, the court slammed the petitioner, asking him in what capacity has he filed the case and if he is smarter than the high ranking officials in the states who are looking into the matter.

“Who are you? In the eyes of law, who are you? You want directions to these states.. but the governments, high ranking officials are all looking into it, are you smarter than all of them? Are you the custodian of the state of Delhi?’ the bench of Chief Justice Patel and Justice Singh asked.

The court sought livelihood and bank details from the petitioner, stating that many times blackmailers approach the court.

The petitioner, in turn, responded that he is a ‘professor’ and has done work with ‘baulis’ around Delhi. The court further pressed the petitioner to reveal if he serves as a professor anywhere.

However, by now, the petitioner had developed cold feet and he expressed his desire to no longer pursue the petition any further. The petitioner asked, “Allow me to withdraw the petition”, to which the court responded: “Yes you better withdraw it, warna jo kaam karte ho woh bhi bandh ho jayega(You better withdraw it, or else what you work will also stop)”.

Delhi High Court’s Chief Justice Patel and Justice Singh held a discussion over it and decide not to impose any cost on the petitioners. “All the three states have Water Departments and experts who will handle this better than you. You’re not a super-government,” CJ Patel said after which the petition was unconditionally withdrawn.



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