Somalia’s President Working to Undermine Election Talks: Opposition

Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s opposition presidential candidates said they are “deeply concerned” about attempts by the outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to derail conference with regional state leaders aimed at ending dispute over the country’s elections.

In a statement issued on Thursday, just a day after international community-facilitated talks between Somali leaders collapsed, the presidential candidates accused president Farmajo of “undermining efforts to hold an exclusive and peaceful election” in the country with the intention of extending his term, just two months after it expired.

“On February 6 2021, he walked out of Dhusamareb 4 conference, in which the leaders of the federal government and federal member states were discussing election issues. On the same day, he attempted to have the parliament extend his term of office, but was opposed by legislators who were against the trampling of the constitution,” the Somali opposition presidential candidates said, adding that this and similar attempts by the president are testament that he is undermining the electoral process.

“He interfered with preliminary meetings between the leaders of the country’s five federal member states as they tried to agree on the agenda of the talks on the elections, as well as efforts by the international community to bring together the caretaker prime minister and the presidents of the federal member states.”

The council of opposition presidential candidates called on the outgoing president to return to Afisyoni for talks with regional states to ensure that elections are held without a further delay.

“The council would also like to point out to the Somali people and the international community that the former president is responsible if the talks fail and should be held accountable,” statement reads.

It comes after Somali information minister Osman Abokor Dube announced on Wednesday that talks held at a heavily fortified base in Mogadishu collapsed and blamed Puntland and Jubaland for the fiasco, though the regional states say they are not aware of the breakdown.

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