Somalia: Talks On Electoral Process Collapse

After holding talks with three regional states, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has announced that elections will go forward, despite strong dissent among the country's leaders.

Talks between the Somali government and opposition presidential candidates have collapsed, but some progress in the negotiations has resulted in relative calm in the past few days, Prime Minister Mohamed Roble said Friday.

The government will continue holding talks on the electoral process to implement the pre-election agreement, which was reached on Sept. 17 last year, with leaders of the federal member states, the prime minister said in a statement.

The negotiations collapsed Thursday evening after the opposition requested to be included in future election talks, he said, noting that some concessions were made following rounds of talks.

Roble said an understanding had been reached on the issues discussed, but one of the demands from the candidates' union was not in line with the country's electoral process.

The prime minister, who has previously been holding talks with the council of presidential candidates, a coalition of opposition candidates, said reopening the September 2020 election agreement needs broad approval from other signatories.

Roble said his government encourages dialogue and that the doors are open to all, but that there is a need to show sincerity and compromise, and not to create new obstacles and conflicts.

Some opposition leaders blame President Mohamed Farmajo for the collapse of the talks, saying the government was just buying time and had nothing concrete to offer.

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