Somalia’s Electoral Talks Collapse after Deadlock on Key Sticking Points

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Talks between Somalia’s federal and regional leaders in Dhusamareb have collapsed after deadlock on key sticking points, just 48 hours before the incumbent president’s term expires.

Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Abdullahi Farmajo, the leaders of 5 regional states and the mayor of Mogadishu have been meeting in the town of Dhusamareb in central Somalia over the past few days to bring an end to a long-standing dispute over the country’s upcoming elections.

Among the key sticking points at the epicenter of the dispute are presence of federal troops in Gedo region and government-appointed electoral commission, which the opposition and some of the regional states say is stacked with loyalists of the president.

The talks have first deadlocked on Thursday and efforts to end the stalemate came to abysmal failure on Friday.

On Friday, president Farmajo told his team he was returning to Mogadishu and requested a joint session of the federal parliament to address MPs about the current situation and the elections, though the news triggered the ire of critics, with some calling it an effort to extend his term.

Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe said the president’s insistence on selecting delegates and electoral committee managing elections in the town of Garbaharay had been the prime cause for the collapse of the talks and accused Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, whose term is due to end within 48 hours, of being busy on claiming the town he originally came from while disregarding the rest of the country.

 It is so far unclear what caused the Somali leaders to walk out of the meeting amid calls by the international community for resolving the dispute to save the war-torn nation from political uncertainty and crisis.

Some of the regional leaders attending the conference noted that all the prospects for a breakthrough were receding and that talks would not produce fruitful results without the mediation of the international community representatives in Somalia.

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