Somali Senators warn over election talks failure, call for compromise

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GAROWE, Puntland - The current administration of Somalia must ensure elections are held within time to avoid inconveniences, two senators have warned, amid ongoing pre-election talks in Mogadishu, the country's capital.

Senator Abdirahman Farole, who was formerly Puntland president, told reporters in Garowe on Monday that the ongoing talks should be inclusive, adding that all stakeholders should be part of the discussions.

Farole said even Somaliland should be part of the debate, adding that leaving certain groups off would be detrimental. The veteran leader also warned that the federal system should not be tampered with, arguing that any plot to dismantle it would be unacceptable.

"Federal system in Somalia must be protected and Elections be held without anyone absent. We need all stakeholders on board so that we move ahead as a country. We can't tolerate instances of dragging the nation back due to people's selfish interests," he told reporters in Garowe.

Continuing, the Senator added: "The provisional constitution should be the basis for holding elections and enforcing the federal system in the country".

"Only the five Federal States in Somalia are the ones who have the legitimacy today after the parliament and president's mandates expired in December 2020 and February 8 respectively," he said.

On his part, Senator Abdirizak Jurile urged the federal government and federal member states to carry the interest of the country and people at heart, besides moving fast to end the political crisis and ensuring a free, fair, peaceful election is held in Somalia.

This comes as Somalia's preliminary election talks were delayed for another 24 hours. The talks started on Saturday but immediately faced difficult hurdles due to differences over points of discussion that will make into the agenda of official talks.

Galmudug president Abdi Kariye alias Qoor-Qoor was identified as the main obstacle in the ongoing talks between the FGS-FMS. Sources close to the Afisyone talks said Qoor-Qoor threatened to storm out of the meeting in support of the outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

While the federal government reportedly wants September 17 pre-election deal implemented, a number of member states insist that the legitimacy of the current administration should be discussed first. Farmajo's term expired on Feb 8, 2021.

"The meeting in Halane is the last opportunity to resolve the stalemate on the elections. I urge Farmaajo not to squander this opportunity. Lack of political will puts the country and people at great risk and will weaken our nascent democracy," former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.

GAROWE ONLINE

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