Somalia’s Opposition Rebuffs Invitation to Meet with President

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s opposition leaders have turned down a request by the outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo for a meeting at the presidential palace, after parliament vote for a mandate extension stirred an outcry and local agitation.

The presidents of Hirshabelle and Galmudug, carrying a message from Farmajo, met with the opposition presidential candidates on Saturday night, triggering anger among the opposition figures, who had pushed the two regional state leaders to announce their decision on the term extension move.

Some of the opposition leaders, including Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur walked out of the meeting soon after the regional leaders informed them about the president’s invitation to talks over unspecified issues.

The presidential candidates, including former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud insisted that they would not attend meeting with president Farmajo, citing his “illegal power grab” efforts and attempts to serve beyond his constitutional mandate.

Somalia’s opposition earlier proposed the outgoing president to a sign a letter confirming that his mandate had expired and that he would not take decisions affecting the future of the country if talks with prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble were to continue. The proposal led to the complete collapse of the talks that had previously achieved a little progress.

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