GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: HirShabelle President Ali Gudlawe who had declined to attend the new round of electoral talks has rescinded his decision after PM Roble pressed him to toe the line.
The Prime Minister’s office said the HirShabelle leader who was brought into office by outgoing President Mohamed Farmaajo last November ‘apologised’ for his earlier stance and pledged to attend the proceedings via video link.
Gudlawe filed a defiance statement Sunday from Turkey noting his administration was not party to the talks. He did not give any reasons for his intentions to boycott the meeting.
The HirShabelle leader was among three FMS leaders who were installed into office through Villa Somalia machinations. Others are Galmudug’s Ahmed Qoorqoor a and his South West counterpart Abdiasis Lafta Gareen.
MAN IN DILEMMA
Gudlawe’ position on the talks was controversial given the political dynamics in his state. His controversial election in November was fiercely rejected by the Hiiraan region and even resulted in bloody violence in the regional capital Beletweyne.
Thus, the choice of two voting centres as set out in the May 27 and September 17, 2020 would work against him. According to the elections agreement, parliamentary elections for clans in HirShabelle state are supposed to happen in the capital Jowhar and Beletweyne.
Goobjoog News earlier learnt that Gudlawe’s opposition to the upcoming talks was informed by reports that the Mogadishu talks will seek to reopen the Agreement to reconsider reverting to the one polling station option as was in 2016.
But as Farmaajo’s loyal ally, Gudlawe may have had to go against his own political fate in support of Farmaajo who sees a return to the 2016 option as a tarnish on his legacy-no progress.
It is also worth noting that Farmaajo strongly favours the two centres model to ensure his sway in Gerbaharey, his turf which is one of the polling stations as set out in the Agreement.
But Gudlawe’s foolhardy attempt to throw the spanner into a process that has received the backing of several actors including the opposition and the international community was bound to end in embarrassment. A political novice in the politics of resistance within the Federal Member States, Gudlawe’s decision to boycott the talks would have been the most inconsequential political moves in the recent political circus.