2 Somali Leaders Urged To Join Talks On Election Impasse

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Somali President Mohamed Farmajo on Monday called on two federal member state leaders to join the consultative talks aimed at resolving the deadlock on delayed elections.

Farmajo said Jubbaland and Puntland leadership should join the talks which he has convened based on the recommendations reached last week by a technical committee appointed by both government and federal member states on the election impasse.

“The completion of the electoral process based on dialogue and compromise is vital,” he said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The president’s call came after holding talks with leaders from Galmudug, Hirshabeelle, South West State and the governor of Benadir region Sunday to seek ways of ending the election deadlock.

Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe and Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni, however, have ruled out joining the talks until their conditions are met.

In separate statements, the two leaders vowed not to attend the consultative talks in Mogadishu convened by Farmajo, saying the Somali leader’s term expired on Feb. 8 and should stay out of the election talks.

“The expired president Farmajo should not have a role in the process of election in order for all political stakeholders to have confidence in it,” Madobe said.

Among other demands the Jubbaland leader wanted from Farmajo is an apology to opposition candidates for Feb. 19 armed clashes in Mogadishu and a new venue to discuss delayed elections to be attended by all political stakeholders.

Puntland’s Deni has similar demands including exclusion of Farmajo from the talks, saying that the Somali leader at one time boasted about having money, troops and patriotic forces that supported him.

Political analysts say failure by the two leaders to attend the talks could further plunge the Horn of African nation into political crisis.

Meanwhile, the opposition leaders have written a letter to the UN Security Council calling for swift intervention to counteract alleged systematic effort by Farmajo to subvert democracy and use military forces to unlawfully remain in office.

“Action is urgently needed now,” said a group of 15 presidential candidates calling itself the Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC).

The opposition urged the UN Security Council which was due to meet later Monday, currently chaired by Britain to intervene in ending Farmajo’s extended stay in office.

The presidential candidates called for the formation of a Transitional Council to oversee the preparation of elections and for Farmajo, who is seeking another four year term after his term in office ended on Feb. 8, to hand over power.

Somalia on Dec. 1, 2020 missed a deadline to hold its parliamentary elections which were due to begin as agreed by the government and six regional states in September 2020.

Parliamentary and presidential elections were to be held between last December and February, respectively.


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