Former prime minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, seen here in 2010, has been declared Somalia's new president. (Farah Abdi Warsameh / The Associated Press)

Somali opposition presidential candidates on Tuesday faulted the Parliament’s move to extend President Mohamed Farmajo’s term in office for two years, terming it unconstitutional.

The National Salvation Forum, a newly formed alliance for opposition presidential candidates said Monday’s resolution is a threat to the stability, peace and unity of Somalia.

“The decision by the House of the People to extend its mandate and that of the president by two years is null and void,” the alliance said in a statement issued in Mogadishu. The statement comes after the Lower House of parliament voted Monday to extend the president’s term for another two years to allow the country to prepare for direct elections.

The parliamentary resolution to hold a direct election in 2023 which would require constitutional office holders to stay in office came amid pressure from the international partners for the parties to strike a consensus.

The partners have also warned that they will not support actions that lead to a partial or parallel electoral process, or an automatic extension of previous mandates.

The alliance which had earlier stated it will not accept term extension for constitutional office holders said the resolution is an attempt to derail recent efforts to reach an agreement on inclusive and peaceful elections in the country and the implementation of the Sept. 17, 2020 pre-election deal.

“The forum, in consultation with the various sections of the Somali society, will take necessary steps against an unconstitutional term extension and take measures to find a solution for the transition period,” it said.

Farmajo, whose four-year term in office officially ended on Feb. 8 has for several months been unable to find a truce with two regional leaders from Puntland and Jubaland and agree on a timetable for electing new office holders.

Farmajo said Monday his government will play its key role in the implementation of the electoral law as passed by Parliament to rightfully restore the constitutional power to the Somali people.

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