Somalia President to Host FGS-FMS Conference on Upcoming Elections

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is expected to host a meeting between leaders of federal and regional governments to reach crucial consensus on upcoming elections, presidential press secretary said on Tuesday.

The President invited leaders of the country’s five federal member states and the governor of Banadir region to convene in Mogadishu on September 10 for a follow up meeting on the recent Dhusamareb agreement to ensure the Somali political stakeholders are able to achieve timely and inclusive elections for the Horn of Africa nation.

In a statement, the Somali presidential press secretary Abdinur Mohamed said the President called for federal member states Presidents and Banadir regional governor to convene in Mogadishu on Thursday, a few days after the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland regions arrived in the city to hold consultative meetings with political stakeholders and the international community members.

“H.E President Farmajo invites FMS Presidents and Banadir governor to convene in Mogadishu on Sep 10th for a follow up meeting on the recent Samareb3 agreement to ensure the aspirations of the leadership are captured to achieve timely and inclusive elections for Somalia.” Tweeted Somalia’s presidential press secretary Abdinur Mohamed, but did not mention if other political stakeholders will also be in attendance.

What to expect from the conference

Somalia’s political rivals failed to reach inclusive consensus on electoral models following recent Dhusamareb conference, which the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland had boycotted to attend and later said its outcome was a unilateral action, favoring only those who were among the signatories.

But members of the international community including the US government lobbied Somali leaders to reconvene in Mogadishu and pushed for the visit of Puntland and Jubaland leaders in the capital, where members of the international community listened to arguments at the epicenter of current standoff on elections.

Puntland and Jubaland leaders said they will not stab other opposition figures in the back and any agreement reached with the federal government will be in the interest of their political coalition. On the other hand, President Farmajo has been trying to wear down the opposition by attrition to ensure any deal signed with federal member states to be in his favor.

Somali political analysts believe the outcome will not be different despite the talks being US-brokered, provided that both sides are trying to consolidate their positions and not compromise on sensitive issues, with their political statements conveyed over media also adding tinder to a long-smoldering dispute.

US pressure on Somali Political Stakeholders

Ever since Dhusamareb conference failed to achieve intended results, US ambassador of Somalia Donald Yamamoto has been holding meetings with Somali political stakeholders including President Farmajo, federal member states leaders and opposition parties’ officials, making clear his government’s position on the current political impasse.

His interference in the current state of affairs has been applauded by both opposition figures and the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland, who believe it could add significant weight to the dynamics of the upcoming conference and its potential to be as fruitful as intended.

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