Council of Presidential Candidates release statement critical of Farmajo leadership


Mogadishu (HOL) – The Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) has released a statement on Tuesday criticizing President Farmajo for his failed leadership after talks between the federal government and the leaders of federal member states collapsed.

The council was formed in November 2020 and is made up of 14 presidential hopefuls. Its members wield significant influence and include two former presidents and the former prime minister. The opposition group strongly rejects President Farmajo’s rule, arguing that he is without a legal mandate.

In the statement, the council put forth a list of what it views as Farmajo’s transgressions and failures.

Here is a summary of the allegations put forth by the CPC:

1) Farmajo deliberately sabotaged the 4th Dhusamareeb Summit on February 6th to create a pretense for his early withdrawal from the talks. Farmajo then sought an extension from parliament but was thwarted by lawmakers.

2) On the night of February 19th, in the run-up to planned electoral talks in Mogadishu, Farmajo ordered an attack on two former Somali presidents and a former Speaker of Parliament. The following morning, Farmajo sent security officers to break up peaceful demonstrations held by the CPC and the former Prime Minister.

3) Farmajo ordered the transfer of security responsibility of the airport from the customs police, which has consistently held that duty, to the Haramcad forces – who are well-known for their attacks on politicians and opposition figures. Farmajo intended to interfere with the security of Puntland and Jubaland’s delegations and stymie meetings with politicians, MPs and other sectors of society.

4) Disrupted the preliminary meetings between the five regional states that would set the conference’s agenda and efforts by members of the international community to bring together the caretaker Prime Minister and FMS leaders.

5) On March 27th, as meetings between FGS and FMS were ongoing, the Speaker of Parliament was instructed to force through a two-year extension but was opposed by dissenting MPs who were dead set against the illegality of the move.

6) That the 15 MPs who blocked the extension attempt were banned from attending parliament. Their pictures were ordered to be posted at checkpoints, and instructions were given to security forces to physically prevent them from entering parliament if they defied the order.

7) That Farmajo’s intention was for the meetings between regional leaders and the federal government not to bear fruit. Farmajo’s information minister recorded a message a few days ago accusing the Puntland and Jubbaland state leaders of failing to convene a conference.

The statement ends with the council commending Puntland and Jubaland’s leaders for their patience and perseverance, noting that Madobe and Deni have been in Mogadishu for close to a month.

In mid-March, the CPC announced that it formed a political alliance with Jubaland and Puntland’s leaders. The new group was established as the National Salvation Council.

The statement comes as the latest talks between Somalia’s federal government and regional leaders fell through without a deal on Wednesday as both sides blamed one another for its failure. Opposition figures worry that President Farmajo is seeking to capitalize on the crisis by forcing a term extension.