UN piles pressure on Somali leaders amid elections stalemate

UN head in Somalia James Swan has been on a whirlwind tour of FMS to secure electoral deal as deadlines fast lapse

By T. Roble

GOOBJOOG NEWS|SOMALIA: The UN has mounted sustained pressure on Somali leaders to bring them to the table as the country stares at a constitutional crisis as it now emerges both parliament and president Mohamed Farmaajo will be in office in violation of the country’s supreme law.

UN chief in Somalia will be concluding his shuttle diplomacy on Saturday in Kismayo where he is expected to convince president Ahmed Madobe to drop his conditions and allow elections to take place. As of Wednesday night, Madobe and his ally Abdullahi Deni (Puntland) bowed to pressure and announced their respective state-level electoral teams (See separate story).

But the two leaders called for a meeting with the Federal Government and the rest of the FMS leaders this week in Mogadishu ahead of elections. But in visiting Kismayo, Swan will likely urge Madobe to go slow on putting in more conditions.


Madobe has fervently demanded Farmaajo pulls out federal forces from Gedo to no avail. The recent clash between Jubbaland and federal forces in Bula-Hawo will likely reinforce Farmaajo’s stance against a possible pull-out.

Swan has since visited South West, Puntland and Galmudug. He is heading to HirShabelle today and will conclude his FMS tours in Jubbaland this Saturday. Speaking during a virtual conference yesterday, Swan admitted presidential elections on February 8 would not be viable given the flurry of activities ahead of that day which includes the election of MPs and Senators.

“I think it’s evident that because of the multi-stage system for organizing Somali elections… it seems very likely this will extend for some additional period of time,” said Swan.

A joint session of the Federal Parliament will elect a new president. Given the lengthy process of electing MPs which starts with the nomination of close to 30,000 delegates who will subsequently elect MPs, the earliest a new Lower House will be in place will be late February.



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