Somalia: Farmajo hosts meetings with FMS leaders and parliamentary leadership

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo held a closed-door meeting with federal government on Tuesday just hours after the international community expressed ‘regret’ over Somali leaders’ failure to achieve the one-man-goal after talks with Mogadishu.

The leaders had reached a compromise on the controversial election issue, a step that effectively ended the uncertainty surrounding Somalia’s upcoming elections, but the gesture from the international community shows directly that something extra needs to be done in the next few months.

But in Mogadishu, sources said leaders met to discuss the best way to move forward with the recently agreed electoral model without compromising the principles of democracy, which has been the main concern of Somalia’s partners, who pushed for a personal a -voice choice.

At the meeting in Villa Somalia was President Farmaajo, Abdiaziz Lafta-Gareen [Southwest], Mohamed Abdi Waare [HirShabelle]Ahmed Abdi Kariye [Galmadug], Said Abdullahi Deni [Puntland], Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe [Jubaland]and Mogadishu Mayor Omar Filish.

The leaders, added sources, discussed polls in a timely manner that reflect people’s desires to strengthen stability, unity and peace in the country. There was concern that in the absence of timely elections, the country would have plunged into a serious crisis before the election.

After concluding the debate, the team held informal meetings in Mogadishu, where various stakeholders praised Deni and Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe for showing “exemplary leadership”. “Our unity is the victory of our nation”, reads the slogan in the background of the photo group taken by the leaders.

However, it is unclear whether the country is able to move forward, subject to reservations from the international community, which is responsible for supporting various initiatives taken by Somalia. The group supports both development and security initiatives in the war-torn nation.

They noted that the agreement did not meet the requirements of a free, fair and transparent election, adding that MEPs should vote in a direct election process. The partners had pushed for a one-person-one model, which they claim is “inclusive and democratic” compared to the clan-based system.

“They recognize that this agreement is the result of a Somali – led and Somali – owned dialogue between FGS and FMS leaders, and understand that some details of the agreed process still need to be clarified and further stakeholders can be consulted,” the statement read.

“The partners note with regret that the announced model is not in line with the long-standing Somali goal of direct voting for members of parliament in this election cycle. The partners urge the 2020/21 election process to be free, fair, transparent and inclusive.”

Inside the agreement, stakeholders agreed to implement a constituency Caucus model in which 101 delegates from each constituency elected a Member of Parliament who would later participate in the presidential ballots. Elders must select stakeholders for the election, the agreement noted.

The team had also agreed that elections would be held from November to February 2021 and that senators would be elected in the regional assemblies. In addition, it was also agreed that representatives of Somaliland, the northern breakaway region, would be picked up in Mogadishu.