Galmudug to elect new president today as IC warns against collapsed talks

A Somali lawmaker casts her ballot during the presidential vote at the airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
A Somali lawmaker casts her ballot during the presidential vote at the airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Lawmakers in Galmudug state assembly will today cast their vote for the state’s new president with three candidates contesting for the seat as the international community expresses displeasure over collapsed talks between Galmudug administration and the moderate Islamist group Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah

Businessman Ahmed Duale Xaaf affiliated with Jubba Airlines is battling with Abdulqadir Shirwa and Ahmed Sharif Hilowle for the seat which fell vacant following the resignation of former president Abdikarim Guled February 26 on health grounds.

Sources intimate the election is most likely a two horse race pitying Xaaf and Hilowle. Our correspondents in Adado where the elections are taking place reports that the exercise will start any time from now.

“We expect the voting to start any time from now. All the candidates and MPs are already in the hall and polling will kick off shortly.”

Meanwhile the international community has warned against any attempts to scuttle the talks between Ahlus Sunnah and Galmudug administration and called on the two parties to resume the talks.

“International partners urge all parties to continue the dialogue in good faith and pursue all opportunities to achieve reconciliation and prioritize the establishment of an inclusive administration in Galmudug,” the UN and other international partners said in a statement Tuesday.

The talks collapsed last week following reports that both parties could not agree on conditions for a unified Galmudug. Ahlus Sunnah pulled out of the state formation conference in 2014 over disagreements regarding the composition of the delegates. The group has since occupied Dhusamareeb which is the official capital of Galmudug state forcing the government to pitch tent at Adado.

 

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