Somali Elections Remain on Hold After Latest Political Talks Collapse

Somalia’s federal government said Wednesday that efforts to resolve the stalemate on elections collapsed after leaders from the states of Puntland and Jubbaland failed to agree on the way forward.

But leaders from both states rejected that claim from the information minister, Osman Dubbe, saying in a joint statement that the administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is not ready for polls.

Residents of the capital, Mogadishu, seem frustrated by the continued disagreement among the political stakeholders in the country.

Bukhari Amin remains hopeful the crisis can be resolved.

Amin said the interest of the general public rests on the urgent end of the ongoing talks on the polls and conducting transparent, peaceful elections in the Horn of Africa nation.

He adds that the continued differences between political leaders on holding democratic elections will jeopardize the hard-earned stability in the country.

The presidential and parliamentary elections were originally scheduled to begin late last year. Farmajo’s term officially expired in February and some opposition leaders insist he is no longer president, further complicating the talks.

Political science teacher at Somali National University Anwar Abdulfatah said lack of trust among the Somali leaders is the main obstacle to holding the elections.

“There are several reasons which caused this fiasco," Abdulfatah said. "Lack of good will is one of them because both sides were engaged on defeating each other instead of focusing on the gist of the issue. Secondly, there is a degree of recklessness among the Somali politicians because, all the Somali people were waiting the results from the talks but yesterday both sides were delivering wealth of information and started demonizing each other.”

The international community has repeatedly urged Somali leaders to resolve their issues but diplomacy analyst Mohamed Dugow said the ball is now in the global partners’ court to take necessary action against stubborn leaders.

Dugow said Somali citizens expect the international community to take a decisive role through intervention since leaders failed to agree on the polls. He added that in order to safeguard the progress made in the democracy and stability of the country the international community intervention in Somalia’s ongoing talks on polls is inevitable.

The U.N. office in Somalia, the U.S. and European Union have all appealed to Somali leaders to resolve their differences in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.

Source: Voice of America