Roble to meet opposition candidates ahead of Friday's protests


MOGADISHU, Somalia -Outgoing Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble is set to meet presidential candidates in Mogadishu, amid an ongoing pre-election stalemate, which could plunge the country into chaos, even as the international community struggles to contain the pressure.

Somalia was set to hold elections from December last year but failed to settle on the electoral team and the implementation of a number of agreements brought about the stalemate. Both the opposition and outgoing government have been trading accusations over the matter.

On Thursday [today], Roble, who is tasked to plan for the elections, is set to meet at least 14 presidential candidates, as he struggles to find a common decision over the matter. It's however, not clear if all of them will honour the invitation.

Sources intimated that Galmadug and Hirshabelle leaders organized the meeting, in a bid to find a solution to the current stalemate. The leaders from the two states are allied to outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who is being accused of dictatorship.

Prior to the Roble talks, the opposition will hold a special meeting with representatives of the international community, to present their stiff position on current matters related to the elections, sources told Garowe Online. The international community team had on Wednesday met Mohamed Hussein Roble.

Among those expected to be in the meeting include former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsane, who has been critical of the current administration.

But on Friday, the opposition insists protests will go on as planned in Mogadishu in a bid to ouster Farmajo. The outgoing president is under pressure to cede power, as the opposition accuses him of plans to cling to power contrary to the dictates of the constitution.


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