Somalia Election Talks Enter Second Day, Leaders Discuss Revising Recent Deal


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Talks between Somalia’s federal and regional leaders in the capital, Mogadishu have entered the second day on Tuesday as officials discuss revising a deal reached on May 27 as the deadline for the upcoming polls looms.

Somali prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble is chairing the conference, having in attendance of the presidents of Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug and Southwest regional states, and the mayor of Mogadishu.

The leader of Hirshabelle federal member state Ali Gudlawe, who is on a visit to Turkey, is attending the meeting via Zoom after concerns he had earlier raised were later addressed by the prime minister. On Sunday, the regional president boycotted the conference, saying he was not engaged in consultation over the matter and pointed out that the outcome will not take effect in territory under the regional control.

Leaders at the summit are discussing ways to reduce the number of delegates set to choose every member of parliament from 101 to 51 due to shortage of funds and other circumstances.

Presidents of Hirshabelle and Jubaland are pushing for also bringing the number of cities that will host elections in every regional state to one, though the agreement signed on May 27 required that polls take place in two constituencies in each federal member state.

Both Ali Gudlawe and Ahmed Madobe do not have complete control over the two constituencies. Garbaharey, one of the towns in Jubaland state where polls are scheduled to take place is run by an administration loyal to the federal government and clan militias against Hirshabelle authorities have threatened to disrupt elections in Baladwayne.

It is unclear if other regional presidents and the prime minister would agree with Jubaland and Hirshabelle leaders to limit the number of constituencies where MPs will be selected in every state to one, a move that may spark new tensions after May 27 agreement ended months-long stalemate.

Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and opposition leaders are not attending the summit and have not been included in the consultation over whether the previous deal will be revised.

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