Somalia’s National Leadership Forum kicks off in Mogadishu

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MOGADISHU, Somalia- Somalia's caretaker President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has officially opened the National consultative Forum in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday, Garowe Online reports.

Leaders of the Federal Member States of Puntland, Southwest, Galmudag, Hirshabelle and Jubbaland are attending the meeting at Halane compound, AMISOM headquarters in Somalia.

International diplomats led by Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the United Nations for Somalia are also in attendance in the meeting with the Somali leaders.

The talks are expected to focus on range of issues mainly on the ongoing parliamentary and upcoming presidential election of the horn of African nation. The meeting comes as the country is near to wrap up the ballot of both Lower and Upper Houses of Federal Parliament in the capitals of regional states.

Somalia's presidential election that was scheduled to take place in November 30, has been postponed for the third time.

In the meeting, caretaker President Mahmoud, has commended the regional states that have concluded the parliamentary elections and urged other states to swiftly complete the process to ensure political transition in 2016.

On the other hand, the chairman of Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation team (FIEIT), has highlighted on several key issues surrounded the electoral process among them obstacles that hindered the parliamentary election and reserved women quota.

Close sources told GO that international diplomats blamed Somali leaders for failing to ensure timely and fair Somali election, as the ongoing parliamentary elections marred by allegation of vote rigging, intimidation and harassment of candidates and delegates.

Earlier, UN envoy called Somali leaders to convene National Leadership Forum following continuous delays to the electoral process.

International partners have warned Somali leaders that further delays to the presidential election could have negative consequences on the country and partners’ ability to support projects in Somalia   

GAROWEONLINE

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