MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s federal government has set conditions for the resumption of electoral talks with regional states, as the international community representatives in the country press for ending dispute over the upcoming elections.
Sources within the Somali government have told Somaliguardian that president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is still insisting that Puntland and Jubaland states announce their electoral commissions before talks would resume.
The two semi-autonomous states have not yet appointed their regional electoral commissions and refused to send members representing them in the federal electoral commission to Mogadishu, accusing the federal government of stacking the electoral board with loyalists of the incumbent president.
The preconditions came as talks between regional states and the federal government were expected to open to bring an end to a long-standing dispute over the upcoming elections, but the government’s decision is feared to delay efforts aimed to reach a broad-based agreement over the issue.
Officials with Somalia president’s office, speaking to Somaliguardian, said the federal government would remove members of the electoral board who are at the epicenter of the current standoff, if Puntland and Jubaland leaders name their electoral bodies.
Somali president also insists on keeping government troops in Gedo while Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe demands withdrawal of what he called “guerrilla forces” deployed by the national intelligence forces.
The government’s new conditions could complicate potential deal over upcoming elections, with only two weeks before the incumbent president’s term expires.
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