Somalia President Accused of Inciting Conflict As Opposition Tries to Unify Stance

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia presidential candidates hosting conference on unifying stance ahead of upcoming elections have accused president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of inciting conflict.

Presidential candidate Dahir Mohamud Gele, speaking to media after third day of consecutive talks on elections had been concluded said president Farmajo and top government officials were inciting conflict in an effort to disrupt a conference ongoing in the capital.

Mr Gele called for ease in tensions over the conference he billed as an “effort to save the country” from plunging into crisis as the parliament and president’s mandates are due to expire within a few months.

Union of 14 opposition presidential candidates meeting in Mogadishu for the third day indicated that their efforts aim to ensure free and fair elections take place in Somalia, urging the federal government to stop manipulating the electoral process.

Among the officials attending the conference are former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, and other prominent politicians who all show decisiveness in challenging the incumbent leader in upcoming elections, despite fears that Farmajo may outmaneuver his opposition after achieving to bring three of five regional administrations under his direct control.

Senate leader Abdi Hashi and other politicians have joined the conference on Monday – a move that is likely to increase pressure on the federal government which still insists on keeping electoral commissions said to comprise soldiers, state employees and supporters of the president that led to a growing backlash.

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