Somali parties suspend talks on electoral process for a day

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Former prime minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, seen here in 2010, has been declared Somalia's new president. (Farah Abdi Warsameh / The Associated Press)

Consultative talks between the Somali government and five leaders of the federal member states will resume on Wednesday, the presidency announced on Tuesday.

President Mohamed Farmajo’s office said the talks which began on April 3 between the government side and regional leaders from Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Puntland, Jubaland and Southwest states will take a break on Tuesday due to the absence of one of the leaders.

“The talks shall therefore resume on Wednesday, April 7th when Galmudug State President H.E rejoins the summit following a brief emergency trip to Galmudug,” the presidency said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The talks which have been ongoing in Mogadishu will finalize the implementation of the electoral model, building on the work of the technical committee which met in Baidoa in the southwest region on Feb. 15-17.

The UN in Somalia said it’s encouraged by the presence of the Somali leaders at the closed-door, ice-breaking consultative meetings held on April 3-4.

“We understand the leaders’ plan to continue their dialogue to reach an agreement through these important talks,” the UN said in a statement on Monday evening. Failure to resolve the electoral impasse has plunged Somalia into a political crisis since Farmajo’s term officially ended on Feb. 8 while the four-year term of parliament ended on Dec. 27, 2020.

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