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Puntland rejects international pressure over Somali election model

Hiiraan Online
Friday, February 12, 2016


Michael Keating, Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia with Puntland president Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gas

GAROWE (HOL) – The semiautonomous northern Somalia region of Puntland has resisted an international pressure to accept the outcome of the recent Mogadishu consultative forum which agreed on a framework for holding presidential elections this year.

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The international community has hailed the agreement as ‘an important milestone’ that it said would stabilize the long-chaotic horn of Africa nation.

However, Puntland’s president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas who walked out of the forum in January described the outcome as ‘inconclusive’, opposing the 4.5 power sharing formula which was endorsed by Somalia’s political leaders.

Representatives from the United Nations and Somalia’s donor countries have since moved to end the stalemate, and visited Puntland to hold further talk with leaders last week.

However, the two sides again failed to reach an agreement with no date set for further meetings.

Speaking to the reporters in Garowe, the regional capital of Puntland, president Abdiweli confirmed that the three-day talks ended without breakthrough.

“No agreement has been reached, however we have agreed to hold further talks and continue negotiations.” he told reporters soon after the international community delegates have flown to Mogadishu.

The international community hasn’t so far commented on the development which is a significant setback to the efforts aimed at ending the political standoff between the country’s political stakeholders, heaping worries that diplomats fear would interrupt the election plans.

Somalia’s government has proposed a presidential election in 2016; however, it dismissed the likelihood of holding popular elections due to security challenges.

Puntland leaders have earlier recommended holding the upcoming elections, considering constituencies unlike other political leaders who suggested holding elections based on the 4.5 power sharing formula.

According to Somalia’s Provisional Federal Constitution, adopted in 2012, the mandates of the Somali Federal Parliament and of the Government would come to an end in August and September 2016,
respectively.

The country still faces security challenges as the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group continues to carry out violent attacks across Somalia by carrying out guerrilla attacks including suicide attacks and
assassinations.[Replace]



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