Thursday April 8, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - The Federal Government of Somalia has blamed Puntland and Jubaland for hindering the electoral process after the latest round of talks between the leaders of Somalia's Federal Member States and the federal government collapsed on Wednesday.
Abdirashid Hashi, Villa Somalia's Director of Communications, sent out a series of tweets on Wednesday that laid the blame for Somalia's electoral woes squarely on Jubbaland's President Ahmed Madobe and the President of Puntland Said Abdullahi Deni. Hashi said that the two leaders did not want to see the country go to the polls for indirect Presidential elections.
In the tweets, Hashi said that Puntland and Jubaland have been holding Somalia by "ransom" for skipping out on the electoral summits organized by President Farmajo.
"Jubaland and Puntland Leadership continued to hold Somalia in Ransom by ignoring Baidoa technical committee recommendations and boycotting several elections Summits called by H.E President Farmajo causing all the efforts to resolve the elections impasse hit a snag without any progress."
Puntland and Jubaland's leaders have defended their decision not to attend the meetings by claiming Farmajo has no constitutional mandate to hold a forum. They argue that his involvement in the process erodes the confidence of other political stakeholders.
The President's communication director also said that Puntland and Jubaland manufactured the electoral crisis by opposing multiparty one-person-one-vote elections.
"However, after consultations & engagements with the Federal Member States, in an inclusive process & forums from Mogadishu to Samareeb, Garowe to Baidoa: Jubaland & Puntland leaders OPPOSED the passed Multiparty, 1P1V Elections process hence creating the need for new elections model."
Somalia's electoral commission, the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), called off plans to hold a popular vote in June 2020 after conceding that they were unprepared logistically unprepared. They cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the security threat posed by Al-Shabab as major contributing factors in their decision to cancel the elections.
Hashi's comments come on the heels of yet another failed round of electoral negotiations in Mogadishu. Osman Dubbe, Somalia's Information Minister, also blamed Jubaland and Puntland for the collapse.
"It is unfortunate that these two Presidents of Puntland and Jubaland have become a roadblock that does not allow elections."
Jubaland and Puntland have previously levelled similar accusations against the federal government. The two regions released a joint statement last week calling President Farmajo a "spoiler". They have called on President Farmajo to resign and say they do not recognize Mohamed as Somalia's president since his term expired on February 8th.