Puntland leader Abdiweli Gaas has assented to the 4.5 clan based electoral system and the international community led by UN Special envoy to Somalia, Michael Keating will oversee a memorandum signing Sunday in Garowe, Goobjoog News can authoritatively reveal.
Goobjoog News has learnt that the visit by Turkish ambassador to Somalia Olga Bekar and his predecessor, Cemalettin Kani Torun who is also a senior member of the ruling AK party in Turkey to Garowe Wednesday unlocked the election formula deadlock which saw Puntland stick with the district based option. A source told Goobjoog News Torun, who is also an MP in Turkey traveled to Somalia on Gaas’s invite to broker the deal which ended over three months deadlock on the 2016 electoral model.
A high level leadership forum will be held in Mogadishu on April 10 in which the government will present a joint position which officially adopts 4.5 for the election of the Lower House. Parliament will subsequently be appraised of the matter on April 15, sources privy to the matter have told Goobjoog News.
To appease Garowe, the memorandum strongly commits the Federal Government to a universal vote in the 2020 elections, a matter which eased Gaas’s position, a source who declined to be named owing to the sensitivity of the matter said.
The Federal Government announced on January 26 this year it was adopting the 4.5 clan based formula for the election of the 275 member Lower House and the Federal Member State option for the Upper House. The existing and upcoming Federal States would be given equal seats, eight in number while Puntland and Somaliland would each take extra three seats based on their maturity and seniority.
But Puntland has all along stuck to its guns fronting the districts based option, a development which has seen a widening rift between Mogadishu and Garowe. The conspicuous absence of Gaas in the High Level Partnership Forum in Istanbul February was indicative of sour relations with the centre. A communiqué from the Forum urged dialogue between Mogadishu and Garowe even as Gaas opted for a sojourn in the U.S.
A series of talks between Mogadishu and Garowe have not yielded a conclusive position but the intervention of the Turkish diplomatic team seems to have weighed on Gaas to soften his position and accept the 4.5 option.