GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Somalia’s national and regional leaders will meet on May 20 for a new round of talks but this time headed by Prime Minister Mohamed Roble after outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo stepped back following months of a political circus that saw the embattled leader collude with the Lower Hous to add himself two more years in office.
PM Roble said Sunday he will be he is convening a meeting for the latter part of this month after the end of the Ramadan fasting period. He expressed his commitment to ‘holding free and fair elections.’
“I want to reassure the Somali people, the Federal Member States, politicians and all political stakeholders that we are committed to holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country, without infringing upon anyone’s rights,” Roble said in a tweet.
Farmaajo told the Lower House Thursday he is handing over the electoral process including security related to the process to PM Roble. This was followed by a vote by the lower chamber of parliament which annulled the extension resolution it passed on April 12.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the nullification of the resolution and urged an immediate return to talks.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call to all Somali stakeholders to resume dialogue immediately and forge a consensual agreement on the holding of inclusive elections without further delay,” the Secretary Genera’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement. “He stresses the importance of a broad-based consensus for the country’s stability.”
But in a swift rejoinder, Jubbaland, which has been at loggerheads with Farmaajo for the longest demanded the outgoing president hands over national security apparatus to the PM as a condition for its attendance to the May 20 talks.
“We will not attend any electoral talks until the national security formally transferred to the PM,” information minister Abdi Hussein said.