Somalia President Meets with 3 Regional Leaders on Resumption of Electoral Process

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has held meeting with the leaders of Hirshabelle, Galmudug and Southwest regional states and the national intelligence boss to discuss ways to hold elections amid a bitter standoff.

A closed door meeting between Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the national intelligence chief Fahad Yasin and the leaders of Hirshabelle, Galmudug, and Southwest regional administrations was held at the presidential palace on Friday, which continued through midnight.

The new electoral commission, a sticking point to end dispute between the federal government, the opposition, and Jubaland and Puntland administrations, has been under discussion at the meeting and the officials agreed to resume efforts to implement a new electoral timeline.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo listened to a message from Jubaland and Puntland leaders conveyed by Galmudug leader Ahmed Qoorqoor that they would accept to hold elections only on conditions.

The meeting comes as dispute over the composition of government-appointed electoral commission has delayed elections, while the opposition alongside Jubaland and Puntland administrations accuses Somali government of deliberately delaying elections by stacking the electoral board with loyalists of the incumbent president.

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has held meeting overnight on Friday with the leaders of Hirshabelle, Galmudug and Southwest, joined by the mayor of Mogadishu, which was focused on the technical aspects and hurdles facing resumption of the electoral process for the 2021 elections.

Somali Prime Minister’s spokesman Mohamed Moalimu tweeted on Saturday that Galmudug leader Ahmed Qoorqoor said “I would like to share with the public that the leaders of FG of Somalia have compromised on the terms of complaint on the elections raised by the Presidents of Puntland and Jubaland, but I still have no response from the two Presidents of Puntland and Jubaland.”

Somali Prime Mohamed Hussein Roble announced on Saturday that his government decided to move forward with the implementation of the electoral process and that it would not waste more time to ensure elections are held within new timeframe, despite the absence of Puntland and Jubaland administrations.

As part of an attempt to appease to growing international pressure, Somali government is now exerting major efforts in holding elections, though local analysts believe the process could only be held behind a schedule agreed between federal and regional leaders in September last year.

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