International partners urge political consensus on timely elections in Somalia


Somalia’s international partners have said that recent political developments should not undermine efforts to reach political consensus on timely elections in Somalia.

The European Union has faulted last Saturday’s no-confidence vote against ousted prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire, saying the move is a major setback for Somalia.

The international partners including the African Union, EU and the UN said the developments which saw the removal of prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire by Parliament should not disrupt Somalia’s reform agenda, or create instability that may reverse the gains made so far on national priorities.

“Commitment to agreed national priorities and to resolving issues through dialogue and compromise is vital for continued international support to Somalia at current levels,” the partners said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

They called on Somali leaders to advance national priorities and preserve stability and vowed to closely follow developments going forward. The partners said they have consistently called for inclusive consultations to achieve broad-based agreement on the modalities for the 2020 elections.

“This is why they welcomed the decisions reached by the Federal and State leaders in Dhusamareb on July 22 as an important step towards that goal,” said the partners.

During the meeting in Dhusamareb, President Mohamed Farmajo and regional leaders of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Puntland, Jubbaland and SouthWest states agreed to appoint a joint technical committee to provide guidance on the process and model of the election.

The leaders also agreed to enhance relations between Mogadishu and federal member states to sustain stability and fight terrorism as well as boost economic development efforts in order to intensify the debt relief process in Somalia.

The partners said they expect the federal and regional state leaders to honor the agreements reached in Dhusamareb and the timelines for follow-up meetings bringing together the government, Federal Member States, the Parliament leadership, political parties and civil society representatives.

“Any attempt by a single stakeholder to unilaterally impose electoral modalities will lack legitimacy and will not be implementable without the essential support from other stakeholders,” the partners cautioned.

Holding the 2020 universal vote is considered critical for the sake of entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions claiming systematic exclusion and marginalization for decades.

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