Somalia’s Leaders Plan to Move Forward with Polls Following US Call

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi, popularly known as Farmajo, Feb. 22, 2017.

MOGADISHU – Somalia’s government says it is making a commitment to conduct delayed presidential and parliamentary polls after the U.S. urged the leadership to hold transparent elections. On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said leaders should set aside “narrow political objectives” and “uphold their responsibilities to the people of Somalia.” 

Somalia’s Minister of Information Osman Dubbe confirmed the announcement about the elections after the U.S. call for leaders to end disagreements among the political class and move forward with the democratic process.  

Dubbe says the federal government of Somalia is ready to conduct the elections as quickly as possible according to the September 17, 2020 agreement approved by the two houses of parliament. 

The Minister added that the outcome of the technical committee on elections on 16th February will soon be put in place.  

President Mohamed Abdullahi, popularly known as Farmajo, whose term in office expired on February convened a two-day election summit between the leadership of the federal government and regional state leaders.  

The National Salvation Council, an opposition partly, said the president has no constitutional mandate to convene such a meeting but called for a summit where all concerned political stakeholders are represented. 

The leader of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region Puntland state Saed Abdullahi Deni who is a key member of the National Salvation Council called on Somali citizens to unite in order to prevent setbacks. 

Deni said the country is at crossroads and Somali people need to unite in safeguarding the progress made in the past two decades. 

The basis of the National Salvation Council is to respond to the ongoing political situation in the country, Deni says. 

A U.N. statement Sunday appealed to Somali leaders to seize the opportunity for a peaceful political settlement leading to elections. The statement by the U.N. office in Somalia further called on leaders to find a common ground in the interest of the country and its people.