Election Talks Fails Somali Government Blames Jubaland and Puntland

Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has been engaged in talks with five federal member states leaders over the upcoming elections which is yet to be agreed on. (Photo credit: Villa Somalia)

Somalia’s political talks to end months of electoral impasse have ended without agreement in Mogadishu, Wednesday. The central government blamed Jubaland and Puntland federal states’ leaders for the collapse of the talks, an accusation denied by both federal member states.

The meeting aimed to find a solution to the electoral disagreement that has dragged on for six months and move the country to parliamentary and presidential elections.

Speaking in Mogadishu, Somali minister of information Osman Dubbe said Jubaland and Puntland leaders had become an obstacle to the election’s preparation.

“We would like to tell Somali people that Jubaland and Puntland leaders do not want the country to have an election that’s based on September 17th election agreement and technical committee agreement on February 16th. It’s sad that these two leaders have refused to compromise on election issues,” said Dubbe.

Responding to the accusation leveled against the two federal states, Puntland information minister Abdullahi Hirsi said they are not aware of any failed political talks.    

Dubbe said Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe and Said Abdullahi Dani of Puntland demanded the dissolution of parliament, the president to hand power, the sacking of top security officers and want the presidential candidates to participate in the talks.

“Somali leaders talks on fixing electoral gridlock collapsed today because of Abdullahi Dani and Ahmed Madobe intransigence. The two killed all efforts to get it fixed. The world must assign them spoilers and support lawmakers possible extension vote. They are not pols, but beagles out to sabotage Somalia’s recovery,” Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, a horn of Africa political analyst, said in a tweet.

Somali president, five regional leaders, and the mayor of Mogadishu were engaged in talks for the past five days to find ways to bridge their differences over the electoral model.

In September 2020, the leaders signed an electoral model where each parliament seat will involve 101 clan delegates. The 275 lawmakers and 59 senators will elect the president.

The contentious issues on the table for discussion have been the Gedo region which is part of Jubaland state led by Ahmed Madobe and the Somaliland parliamentary seat and the general security of the election halls.

The Jubaland leader wants the central government to hand in the Gedo region’s security under his command, something the Mogadishu government is reluctant to do.

The international community and the United Nations are pushing for the implementation of the September election agreement. They won’t accept any other process that jeopardizes the country’s political stability.