MOGADISHU, Somalia – Former Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire held a closed door meeting on Sunday with Senate Spokesman Abdi Hashi in Mogadishu, just days after stakeholders signed an agreement to see the country go to the polls after days of internal war.
Several sources told Axadlethat the two leaders discussed the transition period witnessed by Somalia and the journey towards the expected new government, which is expected to be constituted by 2021, when the country elects a new president through a parliamentary process.
Instructively, the meeting comes just days after Khaire announced his candidacy for the upcoming election, insisting he had “enough experience” to lead the country through to the much-needed stability. The former oil leader said he is ready to face his opponents.
Khaire was ousted from the House of Commons in July after differing greatly from President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, whom he accused of planning an extension of his term. He was a key engine behind the Dhusamareb talks that brought together the federal government of Somalia and the member states.
At the time he was quietly pushing for elections in a timely manner, Khaire received backing from speaker Abdi Hashi, whose Senate had also called for dialogue to avert possible conflict before the election. Hashi is also a main critic of the Farmajo and the House of Commons, which he accuses of grossly violating the Constitution.
But stakeholders have signed an agreement last week that agreed on the model and date of election after weeks of negotiations. Under the agreement, the country will go to the polls starting in November, and the president’s polls will take place in February following the election of members of parliament across the states.
Among other things, stakeholders agreed to have elections for constituencies in which 101 voters participated. This is an improved clan-based model, only that this time a number of stakeholders will participate in the election of MPs in all regions.
However, callers did not explain how the model would curb external interference from Al-Shabaab militants eager to install their own MPs. Originally, there were reports that elders electing the delegates had been compromised by the Al-Shabaab militants.
The National Independent Electoral Commission [NIEC] will not, however, oversee the election. Instead, the organizers called for the election of new regional and national election teams, which would help organize the elections allocated in the agreement.
Khaire is taking part in a race that has attracted Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame and former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. However, the two former leaders will settle for a candidate in the Forum for National Parties [FNP].