Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has suspended Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble’s power to hire and fire officials, the latest development in a destabilising feud that has plunged the country into fresh crisis.

The dispute between the two leaders marks an escalation of months of tension, threatening to throw an already fragile electoral process into deeper peril.

“The prime minister has violated the transitional constitution so his executive powers are withdrawn especially, his powers to remove and to appoint officials, until the election is completed,” the office of the president, popularly known as Farmaajo, said in a statement.

It added the suspension will last until the conclusion of elections later this year.

The statement said Roble had failed to consult or collaborate with Farmaajo and made decisions that were “not in line with the laws and constitution of the country”.

There was no immediate comment from Roble.

The feud intensified last week when Roble sacked Somalia’s intelligence chief for his handling of a high-profile probe into the disappearance of a young agent.