Somalia poll preparations run into deadlock

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MOGADISHU, Somalia – DOUBTS persist over the holding of elections in Somalia in February amid an impasse in implementing the electoral model agreed by political leaders in September last year.

Months after President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo, and Federal Member State (FMS) leaders both houses of Parliament endorsed the roadmap, reforms have not been implemented.

The Federal Indirect Electoral Commission (FIEC) had set parliamentary elections for January 6 and presidential elections for February 7 but has already missed its deadline.

There is a real possibility that some FMS will abstain from the electoral process.

The threat of political violence still lingers as the tensions among key parties remain high and electoral preparations lag.

Somalia’s international partners have expressed deep concern about the continuing impasse.

“We urge Somalia’s top political stakeholders to demonstrate leadership in the interest of the nation,” they jointly stated.

Partners include the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the European Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations.

They urged leaders to resolve outstanding issues of implementation through dialogue and compromise so that a credible electoral process can proceed as soon as possible.

The partners urge Somalia’s leaders to respect and fully implement the 30 percent women’s quota in parliament.

They denounced violence, which is sporadic, perpetrated by the Islamist Al-Shabaab.

“The international partners reiterate that any threat or use of violence is not acceptable.”

Somalia last staged a direct multi-party election in the 1969 parliamentary poll. A military coup by Siad Barre immediately followed.

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