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Somali election talks collapse as Puntland delegates walk out

Hiiraan Online
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MOGADISHU (HOL) – The third round of talks discussing the model of elections the country would hold this year broke down Wednesday after Puntland delegates walked out in protest of a proposed power sharing arrangement, sources told HOL.

The development is a significant setback for the efforts aimed at ending the standoff, heaping worries that diplomats fear would interrupt the election plans. Somali leaders have earlier failed to narrow their gaps in two previous rounds of talks in Mogadishu and Kismayo.

According to sources, the talks attended by the country’s stakeholders including regional leaders hit a snag after the Puntland president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali walked out of the conference room in protest of the power sharing arrangement, a scenario endorsed by other regional leaders and Somali government representatives.

According to one official, Jubbaland leader, a long time close ally of Mr. Gaas also agreed to the power sharing arrangement proposed by Somali government.

The development comes against the backdrop of efforts by the international community to save the talks that dragged on for months.

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

Some of the country’s regional leaders suggested selections of the country’s parliament based on the 18 regions while others wanted making selections in line with federal states, significant sticking
points that attendants said complicated the talks.

Despite Jubbaland’s new political shift, Puntland and Jubbaland leaders have earlier recommended holding the upcoming elections, considering constituencies while leaders from Galmudug and South-western states dismissed the idea and in its place called for 4.5 formula of election.

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.



 





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