Four candidates of the Galmudug regional state's presidential elections have announced that they would boycott the elections scheduled for 30th January.
In a press statement they issued in the central city of Dusamareb very early this morning, the candidates Abdi Ahmed (Abdi Dheere), Abdirahman Mohamed (Odowaa), Abdullahi Farah Weheliye and Kamal Dahir Guutaale said they would not be part of an election organized by part of a divided parliamentary committee tasked with holding the elections of the president and vice-president of Galmudug regional state.
"We will not participate in an election that is organized by one group of the divided elections committee; that any elections held by some members of the committee and election timetable they have released are unacceptable," the statement issued by the presidential candidates read in part.
The candidates accused the Federal Government of Somalia of hijacking the process of the formation of an inclusive Galmudug state.
The four candidates also accused the leadership of the state parliament of bias towards one group of the divided elections committee and called on it to work towards uniting the divided body.
The latest development comes after the influential moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'ah also announced its rejection of the ongoing federal government-led election process in Galmudug.
The move further deepens the political crisis in the region and piles pressure on the federal government which has been widely accused of undermining federal member states.