Somalia sets election date after months in dispute

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Somalia lawmakers raise their hands to endorse a direct election on May 1, 2021, extending Presidents time by two years. PHOTO/ COURTESY

MOGADISHU – Somalia will hold its elections within 60 day after leaders leaders Thursday signed a definitive agreement ending months of dispute.

The elections will follow an indirect model that has been used previously, where special delegates chosen by clan elders will pick lawmakers, who in turn will elect the president.

Under this agreement, each federal state will give two venues where the delegates will elect the MPs.

The decision followed week-long talks between federal government representatives and federal member states led by Prime Minister Hussein Roble.

The central government and state representatives had failed to agree on the terms of a vote before the president’s term lapsed in February next year, a move that threatened to destabilize the country.

After the collapse of the last round of UN-backed talks back in April, the Country’s lower house passed a special bill extending President Mohamed Farmaajo’s time in office by two years.

The upper house rejected the move sparking protests against Farmajo in the streets of Mogadishu.

Rival militias traded gunfire and civilians fled, in the country’s worst political violence in years.

The crisis ruptured Somalia’s fragile security forces and stoked fears of outright civil war, with soldiers deserting their posts in the countryside to fight for their political allegiances in the capital.

Farmajo bowed to domestic and international pressure, reversed the mandate extension and ordered his the Prime Minister to convene a meeting with state leaders for talks.

This eased tensions in the Country even as soldiers left the capital.

The Prime Minister will directly supervise the elections and also chair a committee on security which will have nine members and will include representatives from federal states, African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) and security chiefs in Somalia.


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