Somali PM says government will hold unilateral elections
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Despite ongoing feuds over Somalia’s upcoming elections, Prime Minister Roble has continued to pledge to hold polls in 3 federal states and Mogadishu, arguing the country cannot afford to delay the vote any further.
The Prime Minister made the announcement after holding a closed-door meeting with leaders of Galmudug, HirShabelle and Southwestern states Ahmed Abdi Karie [Qor-Qor], Ali Gudlawe and Abdiaziz Lafta-Garen respectively at his office on Friday evening.
The mayor of Mogadishu Omar Filish was also present at the election negotiations, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s office on Saturday.
The government will continue with all plans to hold legislative elections in the three federal states and in the capital, whose leaders are a close ally of incumbent President Farmajo. This means that the next polls will not take place in Jubaland and Northeastern State.
The prime minister’s move comes amid a deepening political crisis in the country as stakeholders stalled the electoral process, with the opposition accusing Villa Somalia of trying to rig the votes by forming a “biased” electoral body made up of spy agents, civil servants and Les copains de Farmajo.
Northeastern State President Said Abdullahi Deni and international partners also called for an urgent meeting involving all political stakeholders to resolve recurring disagreements over the electoral process and other issues.
Already, the parliament’s term has expired, but the country has yet to hold elections for lawmakers, the government and the opposition marketing charges, which could derail the process further and potentially plunge the country into the chaos.
While the government insists that the elections must be conducted in accordance with the September pre-election agreement, the opposition accused the team of lack of sincerity, arguing that most members of the polling committee are agents of the espionage, officials and followers of President Farmajo. .
Likewise, the team also lobbied for the withdrawal of troops from the Gedo region in Jubaland. The government had pledged to withdraw them, but to date nothing significant has happened, leading to pressure from opposition leaders to want the deal to be honored.
The Prime Minister met several stakeholders including Northeastern State President Said Abdullahi Deni and his counterpart Galmadug Ahmed Kariye alias QorQor, who is continuing the dialogue to break the deadlock threatening the country’s integration.
Mohamed Moalimuu, the prime minister’s spokesperson, noted that the prime minister will continue to hold meetings with stakeholders with the aim of finding a compromise in the interest of stability and democracy in the country. Roble had recently met the leader of Wadajir Abdirahman Abdishakur.
Initially, the elections were scheduled to start in December last year, but the process was delayed due to outstanding issues that still need to be resolved. The government of Somalia is under immense pressure to keep its promises to oversee a smooth transition.