Meeting Between Somalia’s Opposition and Pro-Government State Leaders Ends in Deadlock

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A meeting between Somalia’s opposition presidential candidates and three pro-government state leaders aimed at resolving tensions over upcoming elections has ended in deadlock on Sunday night.

Opposition presidential candidates and the presidents of Galmudug, Hirshabelle and Southwest regional states met at Decale Airport Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, a day after the federal government and the leaders of these states had agreed to hold partial elections, despite the absence of Jubaland and Puntland administrations.

Galmudug leader Ahmed Qoorqoor was asked about his earlier remarks that the opposition failed to respond to his message intended to end an impasse over upcoming elections and opposition leaders accused him of peddling lies about them.

The leaders of Galmudug Ahmed Qoorqoor, Hirshabelle Ali Gudlawe and Southwest Abdiasis Laftagaren all suggested that the opposition leaders provide a list of the members of the disputed electoral commission, whom they believe to be loyalists of the incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

Opposition leaders insisted on the dissolution of the electoral board and called for the government and allied states not to move ahead on holding elections before resolving dispute with Puntland and Jubaland administrations.

Members of an alliance of opposition presidential candidates who have spoken to Somaliguardian say the talks collapsed after hours of debate and that hopes of a breakthrough have all receded.

This comes as tensions over elections escalate in Mogadishu after a video emerged of heavily armed militias claiming to be loyal to the opposition, who showed their might on the outskirts of the capital walking in fatigues alongside a seemingly endless procession of military vehicles. The leaders of the militias have told local media that they would fight to prevent government announced partial election from taking place.

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