Somali Opposition Object as Deadline to Hold Presidential Election Passes

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 27: President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed gathers with Somalians at Sandton Convention Centre during his visit in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 27, 2019. Hassan Isilow / Anadolu Agency

The opposition in Somalia has threatened to stop recognising Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as president after his tenure ended on 8 February 2021.

Somalia had missed a key deadline to hold a presidential election on February 8, plunging the country into political uncertainty.

On Friday, negotiations between the Somali Federal Government and the regional states broke down after the country’s divided political leaders failed to agree on how to proceed with elections in emergency talks.

“The government offered to negotiate and settle all the disputed issues, but some brothers have failed to understand and refused to resolve the issues,” Information Minister, Osman Dubbe, stated in Mogadishu late on Friday.

“The government has shown flexibility to compromise, gentleness and readiness to negotiate, but some leaders tried to exploit that openness to seek more. That will not work.”

In a statement on Monday, opposition presidential candidates said they would cease to recognise Farmajo as president because his term had expired.

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They called for the formation of a transitional body made up of the speakers of the two houses, leaders of regional administrations and representatives from their alliance to steer the country to the elections.

They also urged the Somali National Army to stop taking orders from President Farmajo from Monday.

The country had already missed a deadline to hold parliamentary elections in December 2020 due to persistent disputes between the federal government and some regional administrations.

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