Sunday, 13 Sep 2020, the high level talks between the state presidents and the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia will open at the Presidential Palace this afternoon. The conference, which was postponed for several days, began today in the capital Mogadishu.
The conference will be opened by President Farmajo and hosted by regional administration leaders. The opening of the conference was attended by the Presidents of Hirshabelle, HE Mohamed Abdi Waare, South West HE Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed, Puntland HE Said Abdullahi Dani, Jubbaland HE Ahmed Mohamed Islam, Galmudug HE Ahmed Abdi Kariye and the Governor of Benadir HE Omar Filish.
The conference has been postponed for two days due to government concerns, which appear to be hampering the smooth running of the conference. Jubaland President Ahmed Islam, who was attending the funeral of the chairman of the Jubaland Chamber of Commerce who was killed in an explosion, has returned to Mogadishu to attend the conference.
The Acting Director of Information and Media Relations of the Presidential Palace, Mr. Abdirashid Mohamed Hashi, who addressed the media after the opening of the conference, highlighted the efforts of the leaders to move forward with the finalization of the Electoral Agreement in a timely manner.
Opposition parties have called on the president to consider the wishes of regional leaders and other election stakeholders and to abandon his one-man, one-vote election, which is currently not possible in Somalia. Because Somalia is still dominated by Al Shabaab extremists which is always a challenge in electing one person and one vote.
For two days, Farmajo avoided the opening of the conference to discuss election related matters for his own interest to have the opportunity for an extension. This implies that the president directly interferes hold on time election. Before the opening of the conference, President Farmajo held introductory meetings with Heads of State and the Governor of Benadir Region, which casts doubt on anyone who wants elections to take place in the country.
Because the president is always trying to persuade the regional governments to extend the term, which could lead to chaos in the country.Issues to be discussed at the conference include the Dhusamareb Agreement, which resulted in an electoral process, although the agreement was boycotted by the president Farmajo.
President Farmajo appears to be challenging the country’s electoral system as he seeks an extension. The demand of the president is being pushed by the governments of Turkey and Qatar, who want a two-year extension for President Farmajo. The Qatari government has previously failed to persuade former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire to work with the president for an extended period of time. The prime minister’s refusal led to his removal.
Leaders of regional administrations and other opposition politicians want a mutually agreed solution to the election, while the government insists on misleading the country. Farmajo climbed a tree to remain in the chair with support from Turkey and Qatar.
On the other hand, former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire announced yesterday that he is running for the presidency. That is seen as a challenge to Farmajo’s failed policy.However, the talks, which opens today, will be closely monitored by representatives of the international community as they work to reach a consensus on the Somali leadership.