Somalia Presidential Election - Government, Opposition Fail to Agree

During a meeting with the Prime Minister Mohamed Roble, the fifteen candidate called for a halt to the ongoing parliamentary elections.

Opposition leaders in Somalia have failed to agree on the elections procedure after meeting with the Prime Minister Mohamed Roble. In a statement made public after the meeting on Tuesday, December 1, 2021, the group of opposition candidates for the presidential election, which will be held once Somalia completes the process to elect 275 members of the parliament's lower House of the People said, they will not participate in or accept results of the ongoing parliamentary elections citing lack of transparency and widespread irregularities. "The Union of Presidential Candidates declares that it does not condone, accept, and will not be part of the ongoing looting that destroys peace and the state-building process," Dahir Mohamud Geele, a spokesman for the group, said on Tuesday.

In Sunday's talks, Roble sought to ease rising political tensions over "lack of transparency and blatant violations" in the elections, according to a statement issued by the premier's office. Roble also met officials of Somalia's elections authority on Monday, telling them that the situation was "unacceptable" and urging them to ensure that the polls are held in a fair and credible manner. Analysts fear the potential impasse could push back Somalia to the deadly unrest witnessed during past political standoffs. "The danger is that we could be in a scenario similar to what we saw this April," Rashid Abdi, a regional political analyst told Anadolu Agency. He added that, "The solution is to return to the 2016 electoral model without any modifications, as well as changes in the leadership of the Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT)."

Mr. Roble has been under immense pressure after losing control of the elections. The ongoing parliamentary election drew local and international condemnations after the process has been hijacked by leaders in power. Somalia is holding an indirect election, whereas clan delegates pick their MPs in the parliament, a system that is largely marred by bribery and corruption. The country's Federal and State leaders are accused of hijacking the electoral process in an attempt to help the current President retain his seat for next four years.

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