Somalia’s Int'l partners urge political consensus to ensure timely elections
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Members of the international community have expressed concerns over the recent political developments in Somalia, which saw parliament kick out one of the longest-serving Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, whose removal comes amid escalating political divisions in the Horn of Africa nation.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the international partners said they hope the political development will not undermine efforts to reach political consensus on timely elections, disrupt Somalia’s reform agenda, or create instability that may reverse the gains made so far on national priorities.
For Somalia to progress well, they said, stakeholders must hold all-inclusive dialogue with the aim of reaching a consensus and curb possible political fallout. Most stakeholders have expressed different opinions on the model of elections, something which could plunge the country into a political crisis.
"The partners have consistently called for inclusive consultations to achieve broad-based agreement on the modalities for the 2020 elections," read the statement. "This is why they welcomed the decisions reached by the Federal and State leaders in Dhusamareb on 22 July as an important step towards that goal."
State actors, the team said, should respond to the recent agreement which was reached in Dhusamareb over the model to be used for elections to combat further fallout. President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and federal state leaders met in Dhusamareb last week where they discussed the standoff.
In the agreement, both parties agreed to form a committee of experts who will come up with a suitable electoral model that would pave way for elections within the stipulated constitutional timelines. The tenure for current administration elapses in November 2020.
"The international partners expect the Federal and State leaders to honor the agreements reached on 22 July in Dhusamareb and the timelines for follow-up meetings bringing together the Federal Government, Federal Member States, the Federal Parliament leadership, political parties, and civil society representatives," the team said.
Any attempt by a single stakeholder to unilaterally impose electoral modalities, international partners argued, will lack legitimacy and will not be implementable without the essential support from other stakeholders.
"The partners will closely follow developments going forward. Commitment to agreed national priorities and to resolving issues through dialogue and compromise is vital for continued international support to Somalia at current levels," read the statement in part.
Removal of Khaire has attracted retribution from a host of international partners, including the US and the European Union, who are major financial partners of the Horn of Africa nation. Farmajo has since appointed Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid as acting PM.
The partners insisted that the nomination of members who will sit in the technical committee should be done in time so that their work is completed within two weeks as agreed in Dhusamareb. The team will be fully facilitated, the partners added in a statement.
"The partners urge the immediate nomination of all members of the FGS-FMS Technical Committee and stand ready to facilitate its work so that it can be completed within the agreed two weeks from the date of the Dhusamareb meeting."