Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble said on Saturday the country will hold elections without further delay despite differences over the composition of the electoral committee.

Roble said the Horn of Africa nation cannot afford to delay parliamentary and presidential elections further, and that the balloting will take place in regional states of South West, Galmudug, and Hirshabelle, including Mogadishu.

Two other states, Puntland and Jubaland, have vowed not to hold the elections, calling for talks to resolve differences over the election process and other issues.

“The government has decided to commence the implementation of the election to avoid further delays that may jeopardize the accomplishment of the electoral agreements that was reached on Sept. 17, 2020,” Roble said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He said he has made frantic efforts to reach out to federal member states to amicably address the differences on elections.

Galmudug regional leader Ahmed Abdi Karie had earlier said his efforts to mediate between opposing sides have not been successful.

Roble said the government has initiated the process to implement the elections, considered critical for entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions claiming systematic exclusion and marginalization for decades.

He said it is crucial for Somalis to strengthen their state-building and protect the gains made in recent years.

“In order to achieve this and hold transparent elections every four years, we all must stand up to further bolster the democratic system of governance,” Roble said.

Somalia’s elections team has not yet settled on a new date of indirect elections as the opposition and two federal states have rejected the composition of the electoral commission and its capacity to hold a free, fair and credible vote, and are demanding overhaul of the team.

The Horn of African nation on Dec. 1, 2020, missed a deadline to hold its parliamentary elections which were due to begin as agreed by the government and six regional states last September.

Already, the tenure of the current parliament has lapsed. Parliamentary and presidential elections were to be held between December 2020 and February. Enditem

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