News – AU – Somalia’s Jubbaland region refuses to accept national president in election talks


Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of Somalia, attends the London Somalia Conference at Lancaster House on Nov. May 2017 [File, Jack Hill, Reuters]

One in five Somali regional governments said on Sunday it had refused to include national president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in talks aimed at resolving a deadlock in late elections and exacerbating a voting crisis

The heads of state and government of the two states of Puntland and Jubbaland had already announced earlier this month that they would no longer recognize President Mohamed, whose term of office expired in February8

“The expired President Farmajo should leave the electoral process. He shouldn’t play a role in the electoral process so that all political actors have confidence in them,” Jubbaland’s state house said in a statement in which he nicknamed Mohamed

The state news agency Somalia reported on Sunday that Mohamed met with the Prime Minister, the presidents of the states of Hirshabele, Galmudug and South West, UN Representative and the mayor of the capital Mogadishu in his office in the Somalia villa

In early February, an alliance of Somali opposition parties said they would reject any attempt to extend Muhammad’s term of office

The alliance called for the creation of a national council of lawmakers, opposition leaders and civil society to rule the Horn of Africa nation after the president’s term ran out with no clear succession plan

On Friday, government troops and opposition supporters – including some soldiers – exchanged shots in Mogadishu during street collisions that broke out during a protest march against the late elections

A union of opposition presidential candidates said Saturday they would continue their marches pending all-inclusive talks on the vote

The violence raised concerns that the military could split along clan lines and fuel an al-Qaeda-related insurgency, particularly as hundreds of US. Troops recently withdrew from Somalia

Somalia had previously planned to hold its first direct elections since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, but delays in preparations and continued attacks by Islamist insurgents from Al Shabaab forced it to plan another indirect vote

While the constitution provides for four-year terms for the presidency, extending the government’s term through parliament is legally permissible by setting precedents, although analysts warn that the move is politically charged

Somalia, Mogadishu, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo

News – AU – Somalia’s Jubbaland region refuses to accept national president in election talks